Progressing Emergent Constraints on Future Climate Change

TitleProgressing Emergent Constraints on Future Climate Change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHall, Alex, Cox Peter, Huntingford Chris, and Klein Stephen
JournalNature Climate Change
Number9
Pages269-278
Date Published03/2019
Abstract / Summary

In recent years, an evaluation technique for Earth System Models (ESMs) has arisen—emergent constraints (ECs)—which rely on strong statistical relationships between aspects of current climate and future change across an ESM ensemble. Combining the EC relationship with observations could reduce uncertainty surrounding future change. Here, we articulate a framework to assess ECs, and provide indicators whereby a proposed EC may move from a strong statistical relationship to confirmation. The primary indicators are verified mechanisms and out-of-sample testing. Confirmed ECs have the potential to improve ESMs by focusing attention on the variables most relevant to climate projections. Looking forward, there may be undiscovered ECs for extremes and teleconnections, and ECs may help identify climate system tipping points.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0436-6
DOI10.1038/s41558-019-0436-6
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Year of Publication: 2019
Number: 9
Pages: 269-278
Date Published: 03/2019

In recent years, an evaluation technique for Earth System Models (ESMs) has arisen—emergent constraints (ECs)—which rely on strong statistical relationships between aspects of current climate and future change across an ESM ensemble. Combining the EC relationship with observations could reduce uncertainty surrounding future change. Here, we articulate a framework to assess ECs, and provide indicators whereby a proposed EC may move from a strong statistical relationship to confirmation. The primary indicators are verified mechanisms and out-of-sample testing. Confirmed ECs have the potential to improve ESMs by focusing attention on the variables most relevant to climate projections. Looking forward, there may be undiscovered ECs for extremes and teleconnections, and ECs may help identify climate system tipping points.

DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-0436-6
Citation:
Hall, A, P Cox, C Huntingford, and S Klein.  2019.  "Progressing Emergent Constraints on Future Climate Change."  Nature Climate Change 269-278.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0436-6.