Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling
28 February 2019

Evaluating the Accuracy of Climate Change Pattern Emulation for Low Warming Targets


Global climate policy is increasingly debating the value of very low warming targets, yet not many experiments conducted with global climate models in their fully coupled versions are currently available to help inform studies of the corresponding impacts. This raises the question whether a map of warming or precipitation change in a world 1.5 C warmer than preindustrial can be emulated from existing simulations that reach higher warming targets, or whether entirely new simulations are required. Here we show that also for this type of low warming in strong mitigation scenarios, climate change signals are quite linear as a function of global temperature. Therefore, emulation techniques amounting to linear rescaling on the basis of global temperature change ratios (like simple pattern scaling) provide a viable way forward. 

Claudia Tebaldi
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Tebaldi, C, and R Knutti.  2018.  "Evaluating the Accuracy of Climate Change Pattern Emulation for Low Warming Targets."  Environmental Research Letters 13(5): 055006.