Effect of aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty on projected exceedance year of a 1.5 °c global temperature rise

PEACE, A.H., CARSLAW, K.S., LEE, Lindsay, REGAYRE, L.A., BOOTH, B.B.B., JOHNSON, J.S. and BERNIE, D. (2020). Effect of aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty on projected exceedance year of a 1.5 °c global temperature rise. Environmental Research Letters, 15 (9), 0940a6-0940a6.

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Open Access URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-93... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aba20c
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    © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Anthropogenic aerosol emissions are predicted to decline sharply throughout the 21st century, in line with climate change and air quality mitigation policies, causing a near-term warming of climate that will impact our trajectory towards 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures. However, the persistent uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing limits our understanding of how much the global mean temperature will respond to near-term reductions in anthropogenic aerosol emissions. We quantify the model and scenario uncertainty in global mean aerosol radiative forcing up to 2050 using statistical emulation of a perturbed parameter ensemble for emission reduction scenarios consistent with three Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. We then use a simple climate model to translate the uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing into uncertainty in global mean temperature projections, accounting additionally for the potential correlation of aerosol radiative forcing and climate sensitivity. Near-term aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty alone causes an uncertainty window of around 5 years (2034-2039) on the projected year of exceeding a global temperature rise of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures for a middle of the road emissions scenario (SSP2-RCP4.5). A correlation between aerosol radiative forcing and climate sensitivity would increase the 1.5 °C exceedance window by many years. The results highlight the importance of quantifying aerosol radiative forcing and any relationship with climate sensitivity in climate models in order to reduce uncertainty in temperature projections.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: aerosols; climate; uncertainty; radiative; forcing; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aba20c
    Page Range: 0940a6-0940a6
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 15:26
    Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 18:46
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27807

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