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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

What does a 3 to 5°C warmer world look like?

Computationally efficient projections of global warmth to 2100
Image credit: Philip Goodwin


We know that humans have increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere because we can measure the concentration in the atmosphere today and we can measure it for the past. The multi-trillion dollar question is: How much more CO2 will we add and how much will Earth heat up?   

Image right: Computationally efficient projections of global warmth to 2100.

Key Questions:

1. By how much must we restrict carbon dioxide emissions to prevent warming from reaching 3 to 5°C?

2. Which periods of sudden warming in the geological past reveal most about current anthropogenic warming?

3. Which past climate states in the geological past most resemble a future warmed world?

How do we do it?

We utilise geological archives to reconstruct different past climate states, and the transitions between them (e.g., Klages et al., 2020; Liu et al., 2018). We use computationally efficient climate models to generate large ensemble simulations of past conditions, and use the information gained to simulate future climate change (e.g., Goodwin et al., 2018).

Who in Palaeoceanography and Palaeoclimate is involved?

Steve Bohaty; Philip Goodwin; Ian Harding; Eelco Rohling; Paul A. Wilson.

Links to other Research Themes

Climate models

Sea level rise

Past to Future Climate Change

IODP - Exploring the Earth Under the Sea

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)

Slideshow image
What will this part of the world look like 30 to 50 years from now? Credit, Becky Hopkins.
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Huge icebergs as far as the eye can see off the Thwaites Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Credit, Becky Hopkins.
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Iceberg melting in the Southern Ocean. Credit, Tim van Peer.
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