Reaching 1.5 and 2.0 °C global surface temperature targets using stratospheric aerosol geoengineering
Abstract. A new set of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering (SAG) model experiments has been performed with Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM6) that are based on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) overshoot scenario (SSP5-34-OS) as a baseline scenario to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2.0 ∘C above 1850–1900 conditions. The overshoot scenario allows us to applying a peak-shaving scenario that reduces the needed duration and amount of SAG application compared to a high forcing scenario. In addition, a feedback algorithm identifies the needed amount of sulfur dioxide injections in the stratosphere at four pre-defined latitudes, 30∘ N, 15∘ N, 15∘ S, and 30∘ S, to reach three surface temperature targets: global mean temperature, and interhemispheric and pole-to-Equator temperature gradients. These targets further help to reduce side effects, including overcooling in the tropics, warming of high latitudes, and large shifts in precipitation patterns. These experiments are therefore relevant for investigating the impacts on society and ecosystems. Comparisons to SAG simulations based on a high emission pathway baseline scenario (SSP5-85) are also performed to investigate the dependency of impacts using different injection amounts to offset surface warming by SAG. We find that changes from present-day conditions around 2020 in some variables depend strongly on the defined temperature target (1.5 ∘C vs. 2.0 ∘C). These include surface air temperature and related impacts, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which impacts ocean net primary productivity, and changes in ice sheet surface mass balance, which impacts sea level rise. Others, including global precipitation changes and the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, depend strongly on the amount of SAG application. Furthermore, land net primary productivity as well as ocean acidification depend mostly on the global atmospheric CO2 concentration and therefore the baseline scenario. Multi-model comparisons of experiments that include strong mitigation and carbon dioxide removal with some SAG application are proposed to assess the robustness of impacts on societies and ecosystems.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Earth System Dynamics
Harrison, C. (2020). Reaching 1.5 and 2.0 °C global surface temperature targets using stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Earth System Dynamics https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-579-2020