Articles | Volume 31, issue 9
ANGEO Communicates
27 Sep 2013
ANGEO Communicates |  | 27 Sep 2013

Effective CO2 lifetime and future CO2 levels based on fit function

G. R. Sonnemann and M. Grygalashvyly

Abstract. The estimated global CO2 emission rates and the measured atmospheric CO2 concentrations show that only a certain share of the emitted CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere. For given atmospheric emissions of CO2, the effective lifetime determines its accumulation in the atmosphere and, consequently, its impact on the future global warming. We found that on average the inferred effective lifetime of CO2 decreases as its atmospheric concentration increases, reducing the rate of its accumulation in the atmosphere. We derived a power function that fits the varying lifetimes. Based on this fitting function, we calculated the increase of CO2 for different scenarios of future global emission rates.