Predicting Future Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels

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Science  27 Jan 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4327, pp. 388-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4327.388


Results from different models for the natural carbon dioxide cycle are compared. Special emphasis is given to the type of ocean modeling (diffusive deepsea or two-box ocean), behavior of the biosphere, and value of the oceanic buffer factor against carbon dixoide uptake. According to the most probable models, the fraction of the cumulative production remaining airborne will be between 46 and 80 percent 100 years from now for any realistic assumptions concerning future carbon dioxide production. For a prescribed maximum increase of 50 percent above the preindustrial carbon dioxide level, the production could grow by about 50 percent until the beginning of the next century, but should then decrease rapidly.

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