Insights from Earth system model initial-condition large ensembles and future prospects

C. Deser*, F. Lehner, K. B. Rodgers, T. Ault, T. L. Delworth, P. N. DiNezio, A. Fiore, C. Frankignoul, J. C. Fyfe, D. E. Horton, J. E. Kay, R. Knutti, N. S. Lovenduski, J. Marotzke, K. A. McKinnon, S. Minobe, J. Randerson, J. A. Screen, I. R. Simpson, M. Ting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales. A new collection of initial-condition large ensembles (LEs) generated with seven Earth system models under historical and future radiative forcing scenarios provides new insights into uncertainties due to internal variability versus model differences. These data enhance the assessment of climate change risks, including extreme events, and offer a powerful testbed for new methodologies aimed at separating forced signals from internal variability in the observational record. Opportunities and challenges confronting the design and dissemination of future LEs, including increased spatial resolution and model complexity alongside emerging Earth system applications, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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