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CR 58:55-66 (2013)  -  DOI:

A dynamic control system model for global temperature change and sea level rise in response to CO2 emissions

Jiabao Guan*, Biao Chang, Mustafa M. Aral

Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA

ABSTRACT: Greenhouse gas emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources are frequently cited as the dominant cause of global warming. One adverse effect of global warming caused by these emissions is sea level rise, which poses a significant threat to the sustainable development of coastal regions around the world. In this study we use concepts from dynamic systems control theory to develop a systems model that may be used to predict global temperature change and sea level rise. The model uses the radiative forcing function as an external input to represent the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the dynamic system. The dynamic system is calibrated using historical data on global temperature and sea level. An independent emission scenario, which results in a 2°C increase of temperature by 2100, is used to validate the model. The numerical results show that the model proposed is effective in predicting future global temperature change and future sea level rise. We then apply the proposed model to the 6 CO2 emission scenarios generated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The projections indicate that global temperature will increase between 1.6 and 5.0°C by 2100 and that sea level will rise between 60.3 and 98.4 cm relative to the 1990 level. These results are consistent with projections made by the IPCC and with results of other recent studies that used semi-empirical approaches.

KEY WORDS: Global warming · Sea level rise · Dynamic control system · Radiative forcing · Emission scenarios

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Cite this article as: Guan J, Chang B, Aral MM (2013) A dynamic control system model for global temperature change and sea level rise in response to CO2 emissions. Clim Res 58:55-66.

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