Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Possible long-term impacts of anthropogenic carbon emissions
Most model simulations of projections of future climate change due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions focus on the coming decades and the 21st century. However, it is clear that a considerable fraction of the anthropogenic carbon will stay in the ocean-atmosphere system for thousands of years. Thus, it seems to be important to also consider possible impacts beyond year 2100, which may affect our grandchildren and many future generations to come. At this stage those long-term projections remain largely speculative because of model simplifications. Nevertheless, it is instructive to illustrate some possible effects using such intermediate complexity models, which I will attempt in this presentation. I will focus on changes in climate, ocean circulation, marine ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles on a global scale.
Andreas Schmittner is an Assistant Professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.