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Ice-free Arctic projections under the Paris Agreement
Sigmond, M.; Fyfe, J.C.; Swart, N.C. (2018). Ice-free Arctic projections under the Paris Agreement. Nat. Clim. Chang. 8(5): 404-408. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/s41558-018-0124-y
In: Nature Climate Change. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 1758-678X; e-ISSN 1758-6798, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Sigmond, M.
  • Fyfe, J.C.
  • Swart, N.C.

Abstract
    Under the Paris Agreement, emissions scenarios are pursued that would stabilize the global mean temperature at 1.5–2.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, but current emission reduction policies are expected to limit warming by 2100 to approximately 3.0 °C. Whether such emissions scenarios would prevent a summer sea-ice-free Arctic is unknown. Here we employ stabilized warming simulations with an Earth System Model to obtain sea-ice projections under stabilized global warming, and correct biases in mean sea-ice coverage by constraining with observations. Although there is some sensitivity to details in the constraining method, the observationally constrained projections suggest that the benefits of going from 2.0 °C to 1.5 °C stabilized warming are substantial; an eightfold decrease in the frequency of ice-free conditions is expected, from once in every five to once in every forty years. Under 3.0 °C global mean warming, however, permanent summer ice-free conditions are likely, which emphasizes the need for nations to increase their commitments to the Paris Agreement.

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