Geophysikalisches Kolloquium: Challenges in Modelling Earth’s Past and Future Warm Greenhouse Climates

Earth has experienced warm climate throughout the geologic past. These greenhouse climates of the deep past are associated with elevated levels of carbon dioxide. Proxy data from these time periods indicate extreme warmth at high latitudes. This excessive polar amplification has been very difficult to model with current fully coupled climate system models and has been termed the Equable Climate Problem. At our current rate of fossil fuel use within this century, we will return Earth to a level of net radiative forcing not experienced by Earth for at least 30 million years. Thus, it is important to understand how Earth’s climate processes operate under such enhanced greenhouse forcing. In this presentation, I will review the observational evidence for Earth’s past warm climates and discuss model simulations for three of these past warm climates. I will then discuss the relevance of these simulations to understanding future climate change. Emphasis will be placed on the response of Earth’s hydrological cycle under elevated levels of carbon dioxide.




15:15 Uhr


Bundesstr. 53, room 022/023
Seminar Room 022/023, Ground Floor, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg


Jeffrey T. Kiehl, Climate Change Research Section, NCAR


Bjorn Stevens

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