Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
Clim. Past, 14, 825–856, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-825-2018

Special issue: PlioMIP Phase 2: experimental design, implementation and scientific...

Clim. Past, 14, 825–856, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-825-2018

Research article 18 Jun 2018

Research article | 18 Jun 2018

On the mechanisms of warming the mid-Pliocene and the inference of a hierarchy of climate sensitivities with relevance to the understanding of climate futures

Deepak Chandan and W. Richard Peltier

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Cited articles

Badger, M. P. S., Schmidt, D. N., Mackensen, A., and Pancost, R. D.: High-resolution alkenone palaeobarometry indicates relatively stable pCO2 during the Pliocene (3.3–2.8 Ma), Philos. T. R. Soc. A, 371, 20130094, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2013.0094, 2013.
Bartoli, G., Hönisch, B., and Zeebe, R. E.: Atmospheric CO2 decline during the Pliocene intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciations, Paleoceanography, 26, PA4213, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010PA002055, 2011.
Bitz, C. M., Shell, K. M., Gent, P. R., Bailey, D. A., Danabasoglu, G., Armour, K. C., Holland, M. M., and Kiehl, J. T.: Climate Sensitivity of the Community Climate System Model, Version 4, J. Climate, 25, 3053–3070, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00290.1, 2012.
Burls, N. J. and Fedorov, A. V.: Simulating Pliocene warmth and a permanent El Niño-like state: The role of cloud albedo, Paleoceanography, 29, 893–910, https://doi.org/10.1002/2014PA002644, 2014.
Chandan, D. and Peltier, W. R.: Regional and global climate for the mid-Pliocene using the University of Toronto version of CCSM4 and PlioMIP2 boundary conditions, Clim. Past, 13, 919–942, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-919-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
We infer the physical mechanisms by which the mid-Pliocene could have sustained a warm climate. We also provide a mid-Pliocene perspective on a range of climate sensitivities applicable on several timescales. Warming inferred on the basis of these sensitivity parameters is compared to forecasted levels of warming. This leads us to conclude that projections for 300–500 years into the future underestimate the potential for warming because they do not account for long-timescale feedback processes.