Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change

Clark, Peter U.; Shakun, Jeremy D.; Marcott, Shaun A.; Mix, Alan C.; Eby, Michael; Kulp, Scott; Levermann, Anders; Milne, Glenn A.; Pfister, Patrik; Santer, Benjamin D.; Schrag, Daniel P.; Solomon, Susan; Stocker, Thomas; Strauss, Benjamin H.; Weaver, Andrew J.; Winkelmann, Ricarda; Archer, David; Bard, Edouard; Goldner, Aaron; Lambeck, Kurt; ... (2016). Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change. Nature climate change, 6(4), pp. 360-369. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/NCLIMATE2923

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Most of the policy debate surrounding the actions needed to mitigate and adapt to anthropogenic climate change has been framed by observations of the past 150 years as well as climate and sea-level projections for the twenty-first century. The focus on this 250-year window, however, obscures some of the most profound problems associated with climate change. Here, we argue that the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, a period during which the overwhelming majority of human-caused carbon emissions are likely to occur, need to be placed into a long-term context that includes the past 20 millennia, when the last Ice Age ended and human civilization developed, and the next ten millennia, over which time the projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change will grow and persist. This long-term perspective illustrates that policy decisions made in the next few years to decades will have profound impacts on global climate, ecosystems and human societies — not just for this century, but for the next ten millennia and beyond.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Pfister, Patrik; Stocker, Thomas and Plattner, Gian-Kasper

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1758-678X

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2016 10:35

Last Modified:

06 Jul 2016 10:35

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/NCLIMATE2923

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.83948

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/83948

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