Project

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Constraining dynamic and thermodynamic drivers of mid-term regional climate change projections for Northern mid-latitudes

Applicant Lehner Flavio
Number 174128
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.09.2019 - 28.02.2021
Approved amount 145'241.11
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Keywords (8)

Models; Emergent_constraints; Impacts; Climate Change; Projections; Uncertainty; Temperature; Precipitation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Zukunfts-Projektionen des Klimawandels sind regional noch sehr unsicher. Dies gilt insbesondere für den mittelfristigen Projektionszeitraum (2030-2050), in dem die Vorhersagbarkeit aufgrund des Anfangszustands verloren geht, die verschiedenen Emissionsszenarien jedoch noch nicht zu einer Divergenz der Klimaverläufe geführt haben. Für diesen Zeitraum stammt gegenwärtig über 50% der Projektionsunsicherheit für Temperatur und Niederschlag von interner Variabilität und regionalen Rückkopplungen und nicht von transienter Klimasensitivität oder der Wahl des Emissionsszenarios. Um die Interessengruppen über die mit diesem Planungshorizont verbundenen Klimafolgenrisiken zu informieren, ist ein besseres Verständnis der Unsicherheitsquellen erforderlich. Unser Projekt kombiniert neue statistische Analysemethoden und innovative Modellsimulationen mit dem Ziel, durch beobachtungs-basierte Modellevaluation die Unsicherheiten von regionalen Temperatur- und Niederschlagsprojektionen zu verringern.
Lay summary

Dieses Projekt wird zu einem besseren Verständnis des Ursprungs der Unsicherheiten in Klimamodellprojektionen und damit zu einer besseren Einschätzungen des regionalen Klimawandels führen. Dies ermöglicht eine zuverlässigere Quantifizierung von möglichen Risiken im Zusammenhang mit Änderungen des Durchschnittsklimas sowie seiner Variabilität, was der gesellschaftspolitischen Diskussion, wie mit dem Klimawandel umzugehen ist, zugutekommt.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.07.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Human-driven greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions cause distinct regional impacts on extreme fire weather
Touma Danielle, Stevenson Samantha, Lehner Flavio, Coats Sloan (2021), Human-driven greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions cause distinct regional impacts on extreme fire weather, in Nature Communications, 12(1), 212-212.
Prolonged Siberian heat of 2020 almost impossible without human influence
Ciavarella Andrew, Cotterill Daniel, Stott Peter, Kew Sarah, Philip Sjoukje, van Oldenborgh Geert Jan, Skålevåg Amalie, Lorenz Philip, Robin Yoann, Otto Friederike, Hauser Mathias, Seneviratne Sonia I., Lehner Flavio, Zolina Olga (2021), Prolonged Siberian heat of 2020 almost impossible without human influence, in Climatic Change, 166(1-2), 9-9.
Attribution of the Australian bushfire risk to anthropogenic climate change
van Oldenborgh Geert Jan, Krikken Folmer, Lewis Sophie, Leach Nicholas J., Lehner Flavio, Saunders Kate R., van Weele Michiel, Haustein Karsten, Li Sihan, Wallom David, Sparrow Sarah, Arrighi Julie, Singh Roop K., van Aalst Maarten K., Philip Sjoukje Y., Vautard Robert, Otto Friederike E. L. (2021), Attribution of the Australian bushfire risk to anthropogenic climate change, in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 21(3), 941-960.
Partitioning uncertainty in projections of Arctic sea ice
Bonan David B., Lehner Flavio, Holland Marika M. (2021), Partitioning uncertainty in projections of Arctic sea ice, in Environmental Research Letters, 0.
Reduced global warming from CMIP6 projections when weighting models by performance and independence
Brunner Lukas, Pendergrass Angeline G., Lehner Flavio, Merrifield Anna L., Lorenz Ruth, Knutti Reto (2020), Reduced global warming from CMIP6 projections when weighting models by performance and independence, in Earth System Dynamics, 11(4), 995-1012.
The Value of Initial Condition Large Ensembles to Robust Adaptation Decision‐Making
Mankin Justin S., Lehner Flavio, Coats Sloan, McKinnon Karen A. (2020), The Value of Initial Condition Large Ensembles to Robust Adaptation Decision‐Making, in Earth's Future, 8(10), e2012EF001.
Robustness of CMIP6 Historical Global Mean Temperature Simulations: Trends, Long‐Term Persistence, Autocorrelation, and Distributional Shape
Papalexiou Simon Michael, Rajulapati Chandra Rupa, Clark Martyn P., Lehner Flavio (2020), Robustness of CMIP6 Historical Global Mean Temperature Simulations: Trends, Long‐Term Persistence, Autocorrelation, and Distributional Shape, in Earth's Future, 8(10), e2020EF001.
Uncertainty in carbon budget estimates due to internal climate variability
Tokarska Katarzyna B, Arora Vivek K, Gillett Nathan P, Lehner Flavio, Rogelj Joeri, Schleussner Carl-Friedrich, Séférian Roland, Knutti Reto (2020), Uncertainty in carbon budget estimates due to internal climate variability, in Environmental Research Letters, 15(10), 104064-104064.
Partitioning climate projection uncertainty with multiple large ensembles and CMIP5/6
Lehner Flavio, Deser Clara, Maher Nicola, Marotzke Jochem, Fischer Erich M., Brunner Lukas, Knutti Reto, Hawkins Ed (2020), Partitioning climate projection uncertainty with multiple large ensembles and CMIP5/6, in Earth System Dynamics, 11(2), 491-508.
Quantifying the role of internal variability in the temperature we expect to observe in the coming decades
Maher Nicola, Lehner Flavio, Marotzke Jochem (2020), Quantifying the role of internal variability in the temperature we expect to observe in the coming decades, in Environmental Research Letters, 15(5), 054014-054014.
Past warming trend constrains future warming in CMIP6 models
Tokarska Katarzyna B., Stolpe Martin B., Sippel Sebastian, Fischer Erich M., Smith Christopher J., Lehner Flavio, Knutti Reto (2020), Past warming trend constrains future warming in CMIP6 models, in Science Advances, 6(12), eaaz9549-eaaz9549.
Attribution of the role of climate change in the forest fires in Sweden 2018
KrikkenFolmer, LehnerFlavio, HausteinKarsten, DrobyshevIgor, van OldenborghGeert Jan, Attribution of the role of climate change in the forest fires in Sweden 2018, in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 1.
Emergent constraints on the large scale atmospheric circulation and regional hydroclimate: do they still work in CMIP6 and how much can they actually constrain the future?
SimpsonIsla, McKinnonKaren, DavenportFrances, TingleyMartin, LehnerFlavio, Al FahadAbdullah, ChenDi, Emergent constraints on the large scale atmospheric circulation and regional hydroclimate: do they still work in CMIP6 and how much can they actually constrain the future?, in Journal of Climate, 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Climate Analysis Section, NCAR United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Land-Climate Dynamics, ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Atmospheric Dynamics, ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Geography, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
CMIP6 Hackathon 16.10.2019 Boulder, Colorado, United States of America

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Other activities Podiumsdiskussion zur Filmpremiere "Bare Existence" International 2020

Abstract

Future projections of regional climate change are still very uncertain. This is particularly true for the mid-term projection period (2030s-2050s), where initial condition predictability is lost and emissions scenarios have yet to drive divergence of climate trajectories. In current ensembles of coupled climate models ~50% of the model projection uncertainty for mid-latitude land warming for this period is related to internal variability and regional feedbacks, rather than to transient climate response or the choice of emissions scenario; the contribution from internal variability is even larger for precipitation. In order to inform stakeholders on climate impact risks associated with this crucial planning horizon, an improved understanding of these sources of uncertainty is needed. This proposal combines new methodologies and innovative model simulations with the ultimate goal of reducing uncertainties in regional temperature and precipitation projections. We will investigate current and upcoming multi-model ensembles, as well as idealized model experiments with the following objectives: (i) quantifying sources of spread in mid-term projections of temperature and precipitation over mid-latitude land areas, (ii) removing the contribution of atmospheric circulation variability to this spread and identifying thermodynamic drivers of the remaining projection uncertainty, and (iii) observationally constraining the remaining uncertainty, thereby focusing on land surface-atmosphere interactions driven by soil moisture and surface fluxes, the influence of model biases in sea surface temperature variability on projected hydroclimate changes, and the link between precipitation changes and the magnitude of projected land-sea warming contrast. This project will result in an improved understanding of the origin of inter-model spread in climate change projections and improved estimates of regional anthropogenic climate change, and therefore a more reliable quantification of risk associated with changes in mean climate as well as its variability.
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