Figure 5-2: After CO2
emissions are reduced and atmospheric concentrations stabilize, surface air temperature
continues to rise by a few tenths of a degree per century for a century or more.
Thermal expansion of the ocean continues long after CO2 emissions have
been reduced, and melting of ice sheets continues to contribute to sea-level rise
for many centuries. This figure is a generic illustration for stabilization at
any level between 450 and 1,000 ppm, and therefore has no units on the response
axis. Responses to stabilization trajectories in this range show broadly similar
time courses, but the impacts become progressively larger at higher concentrations
of CO2 .