Publication Abstracts

Rohling et al. 2012

Rohling, E.J., A. Sluijs, H.A. Dijkstra, P. Köhler, R.S.W. van de Wal, A.S. von der Heydt, D.J. Beerling, A. Berger, P.K. Bijl, M. Crucifix, R. DeConto, S.S. Drijfhout, A. Fedorov, G.L. Foster, A. Ganopolski, J. Hansen, B. Hönisch, H. Hooghiemstra, M. Huber, P. Huybers, R. Knutti, D.W. Lea, L.J. Lourens, D. Lunt, V. Masson-Demotte, M. Medina-Elizalde, B. Otto-Bliesner, M. Pagani, H. Pälike, H. Renssen, D.L. Royer, M. Siddall, P. Valdes, J.C. Zachos, and R.E. Zeebe, 2012: Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity. Nature, 491, 683-691, doi:10.1038/nature11574.

Many palaeoclimate studies have quantified pre-anthropogenic climate change to calculate climate sensitivity (equilibrium temperature change in response to radiative forcing change), but a lack of consistent methodologies produces a wide range of estimates and hinders comparability of results. Here we present a stricter approach, to improve intercomparison of palaeoclimate sensitivity estimates in a manner compatible with equilibrium projections for future climate change. Over the past 65 million years, this reveals a climate sensitivity (in K/Wm2) of 0.3-1.9 or 0.6-1.3 at 95% or 68% probability, respectively. The latter implies a warming of 2.2-4.8 K per doubling of atmospheric CO2, which agrees with IPCC estimates.