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White Paper: A Strategy for Climate Change Stabilization Experiments with AOGCMS and ESMs

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The conclusions of Aspen Global Change Institute's 2006 summer science session "Earth System Models: The Next Generation" were published in the May 2007 edition of the World Climate Research Programme Summary Report. The synopsis brings to light what models, scenarios and strategies researchers now must consider next in order to best track emissions on both the short- and long-term scales in light of current and future techniques. The development of a new generation of climate models is underway with the expectation that future models will be able to incorporate carbon cycle dynamics and offer more accurately projected stabilization scenarios. This article lays out a roadmap for a new stage of climate modeling efforts, suggesting that two timeframes be addressed near-term (2005-2030) and long-term (2005-2100). The near-term would disregard the effects of the carbon cycle and use already committed to CO2 levels to gauge regional impacts. The long-term models would assess climate outcomes on the basis of potential policy options and incorporate carbon cycle feedbacks through the use of three different experiments (1) long-term benchmark stabilization, (2) carbon cycle response to increasing concentrations, and (3) emissions driven carbon cycle/climate.

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