An Introduction to Simple Climate Models used in the IPCC by JT Houghton, LG Meira Filho, DJ Griggs and K Maskell (Eds).

By JT Houghton, LG Meira Filho, DJ Griggs and K Maskell (Eds).

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Additional resources for An Introduction to Simple Climate Models used in the IPCC Second Assessment Report (IPCC Technical Paper II - February 1997)

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There are three important parameters in this model: (a) the initial (1880) global ice volume, which was assumed to be 30 cm sea level equivalent; (b) the minimum temperature increase which, if it were maintained, would cause a given glacier to eventually disappear; and (c) the glacier response time. Because there is a distribution of critical temperature warmings and glacier response times in nature, a distribution of minimum temperature increases required for disappearance of a glacier, and of glacier response times, is assumed in the calculations.

The most important model parameter controlling thermal expansion over the next one hundred years is the climate model sensitivity, which strongly influences the heat flux into the ocean. 2, particularly on longer time-scales. For the one-dimensional model calculations presented in the SAR WGI, it was assumed that the polar source regions for downwelling water warm by 20 per cent of the global mean surface layer warming, and that the thermohaline overturning weakens slightly as the climate warms (as in some coupled AOGCMs).

Schematic illustration of the treatment of well-mixed gases (CH4, N2O, halocarbons) in simple climate models. The removal rate is linearly proportional to concentration in the case of N2O and halocarbons, but varies non-linearly with atmospheric concentration in the case of CH4. Treatment of Carbon Dioxide Unlike the gases discussed in the preceding section, CO2 does not have a well-defined lifetime. 2). 3). , (1995) and Siegenthaler and Joos (1992) — ocean chemistry and vertical mixing processes are explicitly computed using the one dimensional upwelling-diffusion model or a variant of it.

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