Understanding Future Climates Using Model Time-Slicing
Historically, climate projections have been derived from models driven by scenarios for future greenhouse gas emissions. However, in recent times, and especially since the Paris Agreement, policy development has been focussed on specific global warming limits such as the 1.5°C level of global warming above pre-industrial.
In this presentation I will discuss the use of time-slicing (where climate model years are selected based on global warming level, like 2°C above pre-industrial, as opposed to a time period, like the 2050s) to examine future warmer climates. This method allows fundamental questions about how the world’s climate may look in future to be answered, including:
- How do uncertainties in climate projections change at higher levels of global warming relative to changes in uncertainty for projections in time?
- Should we expect the pattern of future warming to change? If there are nonlinear changes in local temperature as a function of global temperature, then what is driving these nonlinearities?
- How different would transient and equilibrium climates at the Paris Agreement global warming limits?
I will briefly discuss analysis I have conducted to answer each of these questions and some of the open questions that still remain unanswered. I will argue that regional climate projections may be best produced through time-slicing techniques, so as to better understand the processes behind future changes.
Andrew King (with contributions from Ed Hawkins, Todd Lane, Ben Henley and Jo Brown)
Dr Andrew King is Masters in Meteorology at the University of Reading from 2007-2011. His interests include climate extremes, climate change and variability, and seasonal prediction.