We estimate anthropogenic carbon emissions required to stabilize future atmospheric CO2 at various levels ranging from 350 ppm to 750 ppm. Over the next three centuries, uptake by the ocean and terrestrial biosphere would permit emissions to be 3 to 6 times greater than the total atmospheric increase, with each of them contributing approximately equal amounts. Owing to the nonlinear dependence of oceanic and terrestrial biospheric uptake on CO2 concentration, the uptake by these two sinks decreases substantially at higher atmospheric CO2 levels. The uptake also decreases with increased atmospheric CO2 growth rate. All the stabilization scenarios require a substantial future reduction in emissions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Environmental Chemistry
- General Environmental Science
- Atmospheric Science