Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Will global warming take a short break?

02.05.2008
Improved climate predictions suggest a reduced warming trend during the next 10 years

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
Further information:
http://www.ifm-geomar.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
19.07.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
19.07.2018 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>