New approach to global-warming projections could make regional estimates more precise

May 15, 2018, McGill University
New approach to global-warming projections could make regional estimates more precise
Credit: McGill University

A new method for projecting how the temperature will respond to human impacts supports the outlook for substantial global warming throughout this century—but also indicates that, in many regions, warming patterns are likely to vary significantly from those estimated by widely used computer models.

The new method, outlined by McGill University researchers in Geophysical Research Letters, is based on historical temperature increase in response to rising concentrations and other influences. This approach could be used to complement the complex global climate models, filling a need for more reliable climate projections at the regional scale, the researchers say.

"By establishing a historical relationship, the new method effectively models the collective atmospheric response to the huge numbers of interacting forces and structures, ranging from clouds to weather systems to ocean currents," says Shaun Lovejoy, a McGill physics professor and senior author of the study.

"Our approach vindicates the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that drastic reductions in are needed in order to avoid catastrophic warming," he adds. "But it also brings some important nuances, and underscores a need to develop historical methods for regional climate projections in order to evaluate climate-change impacts and inform policy."

In particular, the new approach suggests that for over 39% of the globe, the computer models either overestimate or underestimate significantly the pace of warming, according to Lovejoy and his co-author, Ph.D. student Raphaël Hébert (now at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, in Potsdam.

"Global climate models are important research tools, but their regional projections are not yet reliable enough to be taken at face value," Hébert and Lovejoy asserted. "Historical methods for regional climate projections should be developed in parallel to traditional . An exciting possibility for further improvements will be the development of hybrid methods that combine the strengths of both the historical and traditional approaches."

Explore further: New method could improve atmospheric forecasts over months, decades, and could explain 'pause' in global warming

More information: Raphaël Hébert et al. Regional Climate Sensitivity- and Historical-Based Projections to 2100, Geophysical Research Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076649

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6 comments

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JamesG
1 / 5 (3) May 15, 2018
They got a new crystal ball.
aksdad
2 / 5 (4) May 16, 2018
Global climate models are important research tools, but their regional projections are not yet reliable enough to be taken at face value

None of their projections are reliable. Or accurate. The IPCC reported this in 2013, comparing projections (which vary wildly) to measured temperature.

https://www.ipcc....S-14.jpg

There is one aspect in which the computer model projections agree. They all overestimate warming. Gazing into a crystal ball or reading sheep entrails would be just as reliable and accurate. The GCMs may be the greatest scientific hoax of the last hundred years.

Tyrant
1 / 5 (2) May 16, 2018
Confirmation bias.
leetennant
5 / 5 (5) May 16, 2018
Global climate models are important research tools, but their regional projections are not yet reliable enough to be taken at face value

None of their projections are reliable. Or accurate. The IPCC reported this in 2013, comparing projections (which vary wildly) to measured temperature.

https://www.ipcc....S-14.jpg

There is one aspect in which the computer model projections agree. They all overestimate warming. Gazing into a crystal ball or reading sheep entrails would be just as reliable and accurate. The GCMs may be the greatest scientific hoax of the last hundred years.



Only aksdad could say that and then link to graphs that show observations are within the bounds of projections. Also he's linking back to 2013 because current warming trends show that projections understate warming.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (3) May 16, 2018
Climate models published since 1973 have generally been quite skillful in projecting future warming. While some were too low and some too high, they all show outcomes reasonably close to what has actually occurred


From - https://www.carbo...-warming
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) May 16, 2018
The #climatedeniers really don't like admitting that Hanson's predictions in the 1989 Senate hearings were pretty much correct, or that the hockey stick has turned out to be true. It makes it obvious how stupid they are.

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