Skip to Content

The mid-Pliocene CESM1 climatology

A very interesting time-period in the recent past is the mid-Pliocene (~3 Millions years ago). The configuration of the world looked much the same as today, CO2 was likely less than present day, but still the temperatures were much warmer and sea-level ~15-20m higher. If it is possible for the earth system to have such an extreme response to greenhouse gas concentrations no different from today’s, then it raises questions about the level of faith that can be put into climate model projections of only ~1 m of sea-level rise by the end of this century.
In this talk I will start by reviewing some results that I have shown before to the EAPP group regarding my inference of the mid-Pliocene sea level by correcting the elevation of present day shoreline feature for geodynamic impacts over the last 3 million years. Then, I will discuss some results on the characteristics of the mid-Pliocene equilibrium climate which has been obtained through very long CESM1/CCSM4 simulations over the past 8 months.