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

Example text

Simple, globally aggregated models of the terrestrial and marine biosphere are currently more frequently used tools for the analyses of alternative scenarios involving the biosphere. These models have been calibrated against global scale observations but cannot simulate the detailed response of the biosphere. In the long run, regionally resolved models will have to be used. 3 Policy Development SCMs are ideal for exploring the global scale consequences of alternative emission scenarios and for investigating the interactive effect of specific assumptions concerning the behaviour of individual subsystem components.

For the glaciers and ice-caps, a simple model which relates glacier volume to temperature change was used (Wigley and Raper, 1995). 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.

This depends on both the climate sensitivity and on the rate of absorption of heat by the oceans. 1) was used. This variant consists essentially of two one-dimensional upwellingdiffusion models strapped together, one for the northern hemisphere (NH) and one for the southern hemisphere (SH), and distinguishes between land and sea. It is illustrated in Figure 9. 1). 1. There are four key parameters in the upwelling-diffusion model (and the variant shown in Figure 9): (a) the infrared radiative damping factor, which governs the change in infrared emission to space with temperature.

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