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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/esd-2017-40
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
On the Future Role of the most Parsimonious Climate Module in Integrated Assessment
Mohammad M. Khabbazan and Hermann Held Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Universität Hamburg, Grindelberg 5, 20144 Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. We test the validity of a one-box climate model as an emulator for Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) when the application is confined to the subset of scenarios approximately in-line with the 2° target. The one-box climate model is currently in use in the integrated assessment models FUND and MIND. For our assessment, we crucially rely on 14 recent CMIP5 AOGCM diagnostics of the total radiative forcing for various representative concentration pathways. Our findings are two-fold. Firstly, when directly prescribing AOGCMs’ respective equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECSs) and transient climate responses (TCRs) to the one-box model, global mean temperature (GMT) projections are generically too large by 0.5 K at peak temperature. Accordingly, corresponding integrated assessment studies might overestimate mitigation need and cost. Secondly, the one-box model becomes an excellent emulator of those AOGCMs once their ECS and TCR values are universally mapped onto effective one-box intrinsic counterparts. We suggest utilizing this one-box model in integrated assessment also in the future, in particular when computationally demanding decision-making under climate response uncertainty might be modelled. However, then the roles of ECS and TCR must be re-interpreted. For the MIND model as used over the past 5 years, even the transformed ECS values comply with the ranges explicated by IPCC AR5, however now at the high-end.

Citation: Khabbazan, M. M. and Held, H.: On the Future Role of the most Parsimonious Climate Module in Integrated Assessment, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., doi:10.5194/esd-2017-40, in review, 2017.
Mohammad M. Khabbazan and Hermann Held
Mohammad M. Khabbazan and Hermann Held
Mohammad M. Khabbazan and Hermann Held

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