A Caltech Library Service

Dynamics of the coupled human–climate system resulting from closed-loop control of solar geoengineering

MacMartin, Douglas G. and Kravitz, Ben and Keith, David W. and Jarvis, Andrew (2014) Dynamics of the coupled human–climate system resulting from closed-loop control of solar geoengineering. Climate Dynamics, 43 (1-2). pp. 243-258. ISSN 0930-7575. doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1822-9.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


If solar radiation management (SRM) were ever implemented, feedback of the observed climate state might be used to adjust the radiative forcing of SRM in order to compensate for uncertainty in either the forcing or the climate response. Feedback might also compensate for unexpected changes in the system, e.g. a nonlinear change in climate sensitivity. However, in addition to the intended response to greenhouse-gas induced changes, the use of feedback would also result in a geoengineering response to natural climate variability. We use a box-diffusion dynamic model of the climate system to understand how changing the properties of the feedback control affect the emergent dynamics of this coupled human–climate system, and evaluate these predictions using the HadCM3L general circulation model. In particular, some amplification of natural variability is unavoidable; any time delay (e.g., to average out natural variability, or due to decision-making) exacerbates this amplification, with oscillatory behavior possible if there is a desire for rapid correction (high feedback gain). This is a challenge for policy as a delayed response is needed for decision making. Conversely, the need for feedback to compensate for uncertainty, combined with a desire to avoid excessive amplification of natural variability, results in a limit on how rapidly SRM could respond to changes in the observed state of the climate system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access
MacMartin, Douglas G.0000-0003-1987-9417
Kravitz, Ben0000-0001-6318-1150
Additional Information:© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Received: 27 February 2013; Accepted: 28 May 2013; Published online: 8 June 2013. Ben Kravitz is supported by the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830. Peter Thompson of Systems Technology Inc. provided assistance with the content of Appendix 2.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (FICER)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC05-76RLO1830
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140731-132349679
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:MacMartin, D.G., Kravitz, B., Keith, D.W. et al. Clim Dyn (2014) 43: 243. doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1822-9
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47718
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jul 2014 20:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:49

Repository Staff Only: item control page