There was an interesting workshop last week focused on the Future of Climate Modelling. It was run by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Core Project on Earth System Modelling and Observations (ESMO) which is part of a bewildering alphabet soup of various advisory committees that exist for mostly unclear historical reasons. This one actually does something useful – namely it helps organize the CMIP activities that many modeling groups contribute to (which inform the assessment reports like IPCC and various national Climate Assessments). They had a wide variety of people and perspectives to discuss the changing landscape of climate modeling and what people want from these models. You won’t agree with everything, but it was informative.[Read more…] about The Future of Climate Modeling?
Another dot on the graphs (Part II)
We have now updated the model-observations comparison page for the 2021 SAT and MSU TMT datasets. Mostly this is just ‘another dot on the graphs’ but we have made a couple of updates of note. First, we have updated the observational products to their latest versions (i.e. HadCRUT5, NOAA-STAR 4.1 etc.), though we are still using NOAA’s GlobalTemp v5 – the Interim version will be available later this year. Secondly, we have added a comparison of the observations to the new CMIP6 model ensemble.[Read more…] about Another dot on the graphs (Part II)
Making predictions with the CMIP6 ensemble
The CMIP6 multi-model ensemble is a unique resource with input from scientists and modeling groups from around the world. [CMIP stands for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, and it is now in its 6th Phase]. But as we’ve discussed before (#NotAllModels) there are some specific issues that require users to be cautious in making predictions. Fortunately, there are useful ‘best practices’ that can help avoid the worst pitfalls.
A new paper by McCrystall et al that has just appeared in Nature Communications illustrates these issues clearly by having some excellent analyses of the changes in Arctic precipitation regimes at different global warming levels, and examining the sensitivity of their metrics to both local and Arctic warming, but unfortunately relying on the CMIP6 multi-model mean for their headline statements and press release.[Read more…] about Making predictions with the CMIP6 ensemble
- M.R. McCrystall, J. Stroeve, M. Serreze, B.C. Forbes, and J.A. Screen, "New climate models reveal faster and larger increases in Arctic precipitation than previously projected", Nature Communications, vol. 12, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27031-y
Net Zero/Not Zero
At the COP26 gathering last week much of the discussion related to “Net-Zero” goals. This concept derives from important physical science results highlighted in the Special Report on 1.5ºC and more thoroughly in the last IPCC report that future warming is tied to future emissions, and that warming will effectively cease only once anthropogenic CO2 emissions are balanced by anthropogenic CO2 removals. But some activists have (rightly) pointed out that large-scale CO2 removals are as yet untested, and so reliance on them to any significant extent to balance out emissions is akin not really committing to net zero at all. Their point is that “net-zero” is not zero and hence will serve as a smokescreen for insufficient climate action. To help sort this out some background might be helpful.[Read more…] about Net Zero/Not Zero
A Nobel pursuit
Last week, the Nobel physics prize was (half) awarded to Suki Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann for their work on climate prediction and the detection and attribution of climate change. This came as quite a surprise to the climate community – though it was welcomed warmly. We’ve discussed the early climate model predictions a lot (including some from Manabe and his colleagues), and we’ve discussed detection and attribution of climate change as well, though with less explicit discussion of Hasselmann’s contribution. Needless to say these are big topics which have had many inputs from many scientists over the years.
But RC has a more attuned audience to these topics than most, and so it might be fun to dive into the details of their early work to see what has stood the test of time and what has not, and how that differs (if it does) from their colleagues and rivals at the time.[Read more…] about A Nobel pursuit
The definitive CO2/CH4 comparison post
There is a new push to reduce CH4 emissions as a possible quick ‘win-win’ for climate and air quality. To be clear this is an eminently sensible idea – as it has been for decades (remember the ‘Methane-to-markets’ initiative from the early 2000s?), but it inevitably brings forth a mish-mash of half-remembered, inappropriate or out-of-date comparisons between the impacts of carbon dioxide and methane. So this is an attempt to put all of that in context and provide a hopefully comprehensive guide to how, when, and why to properly compare the two greenhouse gases.[Read more…] about The definitive CO2/CH4 comparison post
The biggest contribution scientists can make to #scicomm related to the newly released IPCC Sixth Assessment report, is to stop talking about the multi-model mean.[Read more…] about #NotAllModels
We are not reaching 1.5ºC earlier than previously thought
Guest commentary by Malte Meinshausen, Zebedee Nicholls, and Piers Forster
Of all the troubling headlines emerging from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) WG1 report, one warning will surely dominate headlines in the next days and weeks: Earth is likely to reach the crucial 1.5℃ warming limit in the early 2030s.
In 2018, the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C warming stated in its summary for policy makers that the world was likely to cross the 1.5℃ threshold between 2030 and 2052, if current warming trends continue.
In this latest AR6, a more comprehensive assessment was undertaken to estimate when a warming level of 1.5℃ might be reached. As a result, some early media reports suggest 1.5ºC warming is now anticipated 10-years earlier than previously assumed (AFR, THE TIMES).
We want to explain here why that is not backed up by a rigorous comparison of the SR1.5 and AR6 reports. In fact, the science in the previous SR1.5 report and the new AR6 report are remarkably consistent.[Read more…] about We are not reaching 1.5ºC earlier than previously thought
The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report
Climate scientists are inordinately excited by the release of a new IPCC report (truth be told, that’s a bit odd – It’s a bit like bringing your end-of-(seven)-year project home and waiting anxiously to see how well it will be received). So, in an uncharacteristically enthusiastic burst of effort, we have a whole suite of posts on the report for you to read.
- AR6 of the Best. Half a dozen takeaways from the report from Gavin
- New (8/13): Sea Level Rise in AR6 from Stefan
- A Tale of Two Hockey Sticks by Mike
- #NotAllModels discusses the use (and mis-use) of the CMIP6 ensemble by Gavin
- We are not reaching 1.5ºC earlier than previously thought from guest authors Malte Meinshausen, Zebedee Nicholls and Piers Forster
- New (8/12): Deciphering the SPM AR6 WG1 Code by Rasmus
- New (8/12): A deep dive into the IPCC’s updated carbon budget numbers from guest author Joeri Rogelj
If/when we add some more commentary as we digest the details and we see how the report is being discussed, we’ll link it from here. Feel free to discuss general issues with the report in the comments here, and feel free to suggest further deep dives we might pursue.
Climate adaptation should be based on robust regional climate information
Climate adaptation steams forward with an accelerated speed that can be seen through the Climate Adaptation Summit in January (see previous post), the ECCA 2021 in May/June, and the upcoming COP26. Recent extreme events may spur this development even further (see previous post about attribution of recent heatwaves).
To aid climate adaptation, Europe’s Climate-Adapt programme provides a wealth of resources, such as guidance, case studies and videos. This is a good start, but a clear and transparent account on how to use the actual climate information for adaptation seems to be missing. How can projections of future heatwaves or extreme rainfall help practitioners, and how to interpret this kind of information?[Read more…] about Climate adaptation should be based on robust regional climate information