Skip to main content

Climate transitions on long timescales

Buy Article:

$63.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

The climate has changed through the history of the Earth as evidenced in the geological records. Today we might be experiencing a climate change of the same magnitude as the transition into an ice age caused by very rapid burning and emission to the atmosphere of a substantial part of the fossilised carbon. Whether this leads to a gradual warming or if we will experience a transition into a different climatic state is presently unknown. The present day state-of-the-art numerical climate models are capable of producing fair representations of the current climate and are as such trusted to also predict the climate changes due to increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. However, the models are not presently capable of reproducing the rapid transitions from one climatic state, such as a glacial climate, into another, such as the present climate. The reason for this is unknown. The transitions are inherently 'non-linear' and thus not accessible through linear response theory. The term 'non-linear' is in this context defined as the phenomenon that the response of the system to a change in the forcing of the system is not linearly proportional to the forcing. This would happen if a threshold is reached such that the state of the system becomes unstable and the system bifurcates into a different state. There are strong indications in the geological records of this kind of behaviour for the climate. These dynamics can be understood in the context of fairly simple models of the climate.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: climate change; climate models

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Ice and Climate, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2009-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more