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Well-estimated global surface warming in climate projections selected for ENSO phase


Risbey, JS and Lewandowsky, S and Langlais, C and Monselesan, DP and O'Kane, TJ and Oreskes, N, Well-estimated global surface warming in climate projections selected for ENSO phase, Nature Climate Change, 4 pp. 835-840. ISSN 1758-678X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/nclimate2310


The question of how climate model projections have tracked the actual evolution of global mean surface air temperature is important in establishing the credibility of their projections. Some studies and the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report suggest that the recent 15-year period (1998–2012) provides evidence that models are overestimating current temperature evolution. Such comparisons are not evidence against model trends because they represent only one realization where the decadal natural variability component of the model climate is generally not in phase with observations. We present a more appropriate test of models where only those models with natural variability (represented by El Niño/Southern Oscillation) largely in phase with observations are selected from multi-model ensembles for comparison with observations. These tests show that climate models have provided good estimates of 15-year trends, including for recent periods and for Pacific spatial trend patterns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:global warming, climate projections, ENSO, El Nino/Southern Oscillation, climate models
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Risbey, JS (Dr James Risbey)
UTAS Author:O'Kane, TJ (Dr Terry O'Kane)
ID Code:118604
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:85
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-14
Last Modified:2017-08-09

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