Climate Sensitivity: How much warming results from increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 )?

The amount of warming which would accompany increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) – or ‘climate sensitivity’ - is at the heart of the scientific debate on anthropogenic climate change, and also the public debate on the appropriate policy response to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate sensitivity and its range of possible values are a key input into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.

Climate sensitivity is often expressed as the temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in atmosphere.

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