Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wallace Broeker's 1975 Climate Prediction

I was once an atmospheric science major prior to switching over to geology. I've been on a bit of a catching up phase of late. I reread this paper by Broeker (1975). He estimated future atmospheric CO2 at 403 ppm for 2010 and a temperature increase of 0.65 degree C from 1975 to 2010. Not a bad climate prediction projecting 35 years out. And note the title; he has been credited with coining the term we now all know so well.

I used one of the example plots from http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/ (a fun site to mess around with temperature trends) to show the T change from 1975 (little projection required as some of the data sets only go back to 1979).

One thing that was impressive about the prediction was at the time other climate factors likely were a cause for greatly masking the CO2 signal and Broeker noted that up front in his paper.

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