Modeling of long-term future climate evolution using a hierarchy of Earth system models

Understanding of future climate dynamics on time scales from millennia to millions of years remains rather limited. This hampers reliable and scientifically-based predictions of future climate change under anthropogenic forcing and after anthropogenic forcing will mostly diminish. Using a unique experience in the modeling of the deep past and future climates and novel models developed at PIK we are aiming to perform quantitative assessment of possible future climate change scenarios, including the timing and magnitude of future glacial cycles. These scenarios will take into account the large uncertainties related to future anthropogenic CO2 emissions, insolation-CO2 thresholds for glaciation, climate sensitivity and the life time of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. This information will help to improve future projections for climate change and glaciations in the Alps.

Answering the following research questions: 1. When the next ice age will begin and how the timing of the next glacial inception depends on the cumulative CO2 anthropogenic emission (probabilistic assessment)? 2. Whether and when the full amplitude of glacial cycles (similar to the last four glacial cycles) will resume? 3. Whether it is possible that within the next million years, glacial cycles will differ considerably from those occurred during the past million years? For example, is it possible that instead of regular 100-kyr cycles much longer and stronger glacial cycles or even a permanent super-glacial state will be established within the next million years?


Nov 01, 2018 until Nov 30, 2021


275.400 €

Funding Agency

nagra Nationale Genossenschaft für die Lagerung radioaktiver Abfälle


Andrey Ganopolski