What is it about?

We introduce a new climate model involving two interacting layers: an athmosperic layer and the Earth surface. We analyze the equilibrium points of such system and how they depend on some coefficients linked to the greenhouse gases.

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Why is it important?

Our model confirms the multistable nature of climate. We show the presence of two competing stable states: one with temperatures similar to those seen today, with global averages well above the freezing temperature of water and another, named "snowball state", with temperatures some 50 degrees colder. We furthermore prove that, according to our model, the athmosphere and the Earth surface equilibria temperature increase as the concentration of greenhouse gases grows. This behaviour can be interpreted as a signature of the runaway greenhouse effect. Such phenomenon emerges when the surface warming leads to excessive evaporation of surface water, with the resulting water vapour contributing to further increasing the opacity of the atmosphere, up to full evaporation of the available water and transition to a fundamentally different climate.


We will continue working on such an interesting and nowadays especially crucial topic. We will improve our model trying to give a more accurate description equilibrium points and of their dependence of some relevant parameters.

Cristina Urbani
Universitas Mercatorum

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Analysis of a two-layer energy balance model: Long time behavior and greenhouse effect, Chaos An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, November 2023, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0136673.
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