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          Institute: MPI für Meteorologie     Collection: Ocean in the Earth System     Display Documents



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ID: 377801.0, MPI für Meteorologie / Ocean in the Earth System
Atmospheric lifetime of fossil-fuel carbon dioxide
Authors:Archer, D.; Eby, M.; Brovkin, V.; Ridgwell, A.; Long, C.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Caldeira, K.; Matsumoto, K.; Munhoven, G.; Montenegro, A.; Tokos, K.
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2009-05
Title of Journal:Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Journal Abbrev.:Ann. Rev. Earth Plan. Sci.
Volume:37
Start Page:117
End Page:134
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:CO2 released from combustion of fossil fuels equilibrates among the various carbon reservoirs of the atmosphere, the ocean, and the terrestrial biosphere on timescales of a few centuries. However, a sizeable fraction of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere, awaiting a return to the solid earth by much slower weathering processes and deposition of CaCO3. Common measures of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2, including the e-folding time scale, disregard the long tail. Its neglect in the calculation of global warming potentials leads many to underestimate the longevity of anthropogenic global warming. Here, we review the past literature on the atmospheric lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 and its impact on climate, and we present initial results from a model intercomparison project on this topic. The models agree that 20–35% of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere after equilibration with the ocean (2–20 centuries). Neutralization by CaCO3 draws the airborne fraction down further on timescales of 3 to 7 kyr.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Carola Kauhs
Affiliations:MPI für Meteorologie/Ocean in the Earth System
MPI für Meteorologie/Land in the Earth System (2005-)
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