To date climate change projections, as published in the last IPCC report, only considered changes in future atmospheric composition. This strategy is appropriate for long-term changes in climate such as predictions for the end of the century.
However, in order to predict short-term developments over the next decade, models need additional information on natural climate variations, in particular associated with ocean currents. Lack of sufficient data has hampered such predictions in the past. Scientists at IFM-GEOMAR and from the MPI for Meteorology have developed a method to derive ocean currents from measurements of sea surface temperature (SST). The latter are available in good quality and global coverage at least for the past 50 years. With this additional information, natural decadal climate variations, which are superimposed on the long-term anthropogenic warming trend, can be predicted. The improved predictions suggest that global warming will weaken slightly during the following 10 years.
“Just to make things clear: we are not stating that anthropogenic climate change won’t be as bad as previously thought”, explains Prof. Mojib Latif from IFM-GEOMAR. “What we are saying is that on top of the warming trend there is a long-periodic oscillation that will probably lead to a to a lower temperature increase than we would expect from the current trend during the next years”, adds Latif. “That is like driving from the coast to a mountainous area and crossing some hills and valleys before you reach the top”, explains Dr. Johann Jungclaus from the MPI for Meteorology. “In some years trends of both phenomena, the anthropogenic climate change and the natural decadal variation will add leading to a much stronger temperature rise.”
Emmy-Noether1 fellow and lead author Dr. Noel Keenlyside from IFM-GEOMAR continues: “In addition to the greenhouse gas concentrations we are using observed SST’s of the past decades in our climate model simulations, a method which has already successfully been applied for seasonal predictions and El Niño forecasting. The SST’s influence the winds and the heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere, and both factors impact ocean currents. The results are very encouraging and show that at least for some regions around the world, it is possible to predict natural climate oscillations on decadal time scale. Europe and North America are two such regions because they are influenced by the North Atlantic and Tropical Pacific, respectively.”
Decadal climate precitions are not weather forecasts, as Prof. Latif expands upon: “Such forecasts will not enable us to tell you whether or not we will have a white Christmas in 2012 in northern Germany, but we will be able to provide a tendency as to whether or not some decades will be warmer or cooler than average. Of course, always with the assumption that no other unforeseen effects such as volcanic eruptions occur, which can have a substantial effect on our climate as well”, summarizes Prof. Latif
Andreas Villwock | alfa
Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk
20.10.2016 | European Geosciences Union
UM researchers study vast carbon residue of ocean life
19.10.2016 | University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences