Community Climate Simulations to assess avoided impacts in 1.5 °C; and 2 °C futures Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The Paris Agreement of December 2015 stated a goal to pursue efforts to keep global temperatures below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and well below 2 °C. The IPCC was charged with assessing climate impacts at these temperature levels, but fully coupled equilibrium climate simulations do not currently exist to inform such assessments. In this study, we produce a set of scenarios using a simple model designed to achieve long term 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperatures in a stable climate. These scenarios are then used to produce century scale ensemble simulations using the Community Earth System Model, providing impact-relevant long term climate data for stabilization pathways at 1.5 °C and 2 °C levels and an overshoot 1.5 °C case, which are freely available to the community. Here we describe the design of the simulations and key aspects of their impact-relevant climate response. Exceedance of historical record temperature occurs with 60 percent greater frequency in the 2 °C climate than in a 1.5 °C climate aggregated globally, and with twice the frequency in equatorial and arid regions. Extreme precipitation intensity is statistically significantly higher in a 2.0 °C climate than a 1.5 °C climate in several regions. The model exhibits large differences in the Arctic which is ice-free with a frequency of 1 in 3 years in the 2.0 °C scenario, and only 1 in 40 years in the 1.5 °C scenario.;

publication date

  • April 19, 2017

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 6, 2020 7:15 AM

Full Author List

  • Sanderson BM; Xu Y; Tebaldi C; Wehner M; O'Neill B; Jahn A; Pendergrass AG; Lehner F; Strand WG; Lin L

author count

  • 12

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