Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Influence of feedback on the stochastic evolution of simple climate systems

L. Mahadevan and J. M. Deutch
Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 466, No. 2116 (8 April 2010), pp. 993-1003
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25661479
Page Count: 11
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Influence of feedback on the stochastic evolution of simple climate systems
Preview not available

Abstract

We consider the dynamical evolution of a simple climate system that describes the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere owing to radiative forcing and coupling to a positive feedback variable such as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the presence of fluctuations. Analysing the resulting stochastic dynamical system shows that, if the temperature relaxes rapidly relative to the concentration, the time-dependent and stationary probability density functions (pdfs) for the temperature rise possess a fat tail. In contrast, if the feedback variable relaxes rapidly relative to the temperature, the pdf has no fat tail, and, instead, the system shows critical slowing down as the singular limit of positive feedback is approached. However, if there is uncertainty in the feedback variable itself, a fat tail can reappear. Our analysis may be generalized to more complex models with similar qualitative results. Our results have policy implications: although fat tails imply that the expectation of plausible damage functions is infinite, the pdfs permit an examination of the trade-off between reducing emissions and reducing the positive feedback gain.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
993
    993
  • Thumbnail: Page 
994
    994
  • Thumbnail: Page 
995
    995
  • Thumbnail: Page 
996
    996
  • Thumbnail: Page 
997
    997
  • Thumbnail: Page 
998
    998
  • Thumbnail: Page 
999
    999
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1000
    1000
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1001
    1001
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1002
    1002
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1003
    1003