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Meteorological Response to CO2 Sequestration and Storage in Antarctica

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posted on 23.04.2020 by Andrea E Orton

Increasing CO2 concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere have led to global warming with climate change effects. Future RCP scenarios per the IPCC suggest that local solutions to limit emissions are necessary but may not suffice to combat the anthropogenic CO2 problem. Climate intervention has been given increasing consideration. A climate intervention approach of removing CO2 from the atmosphere through dry ice deposition and storage in Antarctica is considered. While the technology needs continued development, understanding the meteorological response to significant carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in Antarctica takes precedence. Various Antarctica CDR scenarios are simulated through the fully-coupled general circulation model CESM 2.1.1. Modern simulations (15 years) with prognostic CO2 include 1) anthropogenic emissions (control), 2) no emissions, 3) emissions with ~4.5 ppmv sequestration annually (half sequestration), and 4) emissions with ~9 ppmv sequestration annually (full sequestration). Full sequestration attempts to remove enough CO2 to achieve pre-industrial concentration by the end of the simulation. Experiments 1) and 3) were continued until mid-21st century (50 years total) with SSP1-2.6 conditions and emissions to examine the CDR impact on the atmosphere under the Paris Treaty Agreement scenario (which limits Earth's warming to 1.5oC-2oC above pre-industrial values).

Modern simulations show sequestration scenarios have more of an impact on 2m-air temperature and little effect on precipitation patterns in 15 years. SSP1-2.6 simulations show that an additional 1oC of warming can be inhibited by continuing sequestration and limiting emissions. Further, sequestration shows counteraction to warming in many of the locations that are predicted to warm per the RCP 2.6 scenario in the IPCC (2013), as well as counteraction to the predicted IPCC precipitation changes. These results are obtained from one simulation of each experiment, and it is recognized that ensemble runs in line with IPCC predictions are necessary to examine all possible predictions to CDR. Future considerations include sea level rise, carbon cycle response, convective parameters, and relocation of sequestration.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Ernest M. Agee

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Dr. Michael Baldwin

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Richard Neale

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Dan Chavas

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Robert Jacko



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