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Explicit feedback and the management of uncertainty in meeting climate objectives with solar geoengineering

Kravitz, Ben and MacMartin, Douglas G. and Leedal, David T. and Rasch, Philip J. and Jarvis, Andrew J. (2014) Explicit feedback and the management of uncertainty in meeting climate objectives with solar geoengineering. Environmental Research Letters, 9 (4). Art. No. 044006. ISSN 1748-9326. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/044006.

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Solar geoengineering has been proposed as a method of meeting climate objectives, such as reduced globally averaged surface temperatures. However, because of incomplete understanding of the effects of geoengineering on the climate system, its implementation would be in the presence of substantial uncertainties. In our study, we use two fully coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models: one in which the geoengineering strategy is designed, and one in which geoengineering is implemented (a real-world proxy). We show that regularly adjusting the amount of solar geoengineering in response to departures of the observed global mean climate state from the predetermined objective (sequential decision making; an explicit feedback approach) can manage uncertainties and result in achievement of the climate objective in both the design model and the real-world proxy. This approach results in substantially less error in meeting global climate objectives than using a predetermined time series of how much geoengineering to use, especially if the estimated sensitivity to geoengineering is inaccurate.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kravitz, Ben0000-0001-6318-1150
MacMartin, Douglas G.0000-0003-1987-9417
Rasch, Philip J.0000-0002-5125-2174
Additional Information:© 2014 Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd. Received 5 November 2013, revised 10 March 2014. Accepted for publication 19 March 2014. Published 9 April 2014. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. We thank Jane Long, Andy Ridgwell, and David Keith for helpful discussions about this work, as well as three anonymous reviewers for their comments. BK is supported by the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (FICER). The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated for the US Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract DEAC0576RLO 1830. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) at Goddard Space Flight Center. AJ and DL were supported by UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council grant EP/I014721/1.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (FICER)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DEAC0576RLO 1830
Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I014721/1
Battelle Memorial InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:feedback, geoengineering, climate modeling
Issue or Number:4
Classification Code:PACS: 92.70.Np, 92.60.Bh, 92.60.hv
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140808-094929232
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Official Citation:Explicit feedback and the management of uncertainty in meeting climate objectives with solar geoengineering Ben Kravitz et al 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 044006
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48234
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:08 Aug 2014 17:12
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:30

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