Document Detail

Quantification of modelling uncertainties in a large ensemble of climate change simulations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15306806     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Comprehensive global climate models are the only tools that account for the complex set of processes which will determine future climate change at both a global and regional level. Planners are typically faced with a wide range of predicted changes from different models of unknown relative quality, owing to large but unquantified uncertainties in the modelling process. Here we report a systematic attempt to determine the range of climate changes consistent with these uncertainties, based on a 53-member ensemble of model versions constructed by varying model parameters. We estimate a probability density function for the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and obtain a 5-95 per cent probability range of 2.4-5.4 degrees C. Our probability density function is constrained by objective estimates of the relative reliability of different model versions, the choice of model parameters that are varied and their uncertainty ranges, specified on the basis of expert advice. Our ensemble produces a range of regional changes much wider than indicated by traditional methods based on scaling the response patterns of an individual simulation.
James M Murphy; David M H Sexton; David N Barnett; Gareth S Jones; Mark J Webb; Matthew Collins; David A Stainforth
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  430     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2004 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-12     Completed Date:  2004-08-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  768-72     Citation Subset:  -    
Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Comment In:
Nature. 2004 Aug 12;430(7001):737-8   [PMID:  15306796 ]

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