CO2 Driven Equator-To-Pole Paleotemperatures: Predictions of an Energy Balance Climate Model with and without a Tropical Evaporation Buffer

  1. E.T. Sundquist and
  2. W.S. Broecker
  1. Brian P. Flannery1,
  2. Andrew J. Callegari1,
  3. Martin I. Hoffert2,
  4. C. T. Hseih2 and
  5. Mark D. Wainger2

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM032p0070

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

How to Cite

Flannery, B. P., Callegari, A. J., Hoffert, M. I., Hseih, C. T. and Wainger, M. D. (1985) CO2 Driven Equator-To-Pole Paleotemperatures: Predictions of an Energy Balance Climate Model with and without a Tropical Evaporation Buffer, in The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present (eds E.T. Sundquist and W.S. Broecker), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM032p0070

Author Information

  1. 1

    Corporate Research-Science Laboratories, Exxon Research and Engineering Co., Annandale, New Jersey 08801

  2. 2

    Department of Applied Science, New York University, New York, New York 10003

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1985

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900605

Online ISBN: 9781118664322

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Keywords:

  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)—Congresses;
  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide—Congresses;
  • Geological time—Congresses;
  • Paleothermometry—Congresses;
  • Geology, Stratigraphic—Congresses

Summary

Direct measurements of CO2 trapped in polar ice cap cores indicate levels some two-thirds current values during the last ice age. In addition, other estimates, based on geochemical models for weathering over the Phanerozoic, indicate CO2 variations as large as 10 or more times current values. Here we investigate the influence of such carbon dioxide variation through the greenhouse effect on the horizontally averaged equator-to-pole temperature distribution of the earth's surface. The influence for long-wave radiation to space and from the atmosphere to the surface is represented by functions derived from the LOWTRAN radiation code. Surface temperatures are computed using a multireservoir energy balance climate model with separate land, water, and atmosphere components. A range of “climates” are computed as a function of carbon dioxide amounts for 0.5 to 20 times current value using both constant and variable eddy thermal diffusivities. Model results indicate that CO2 variations alone account for only about half the “observed” climate variations during the Cretaceous. Other effects, such as a different distribution of land and sea, might also be of importance but were not considered here.