The building maintenance scheduled for Friday February 27th at 5:00pm MST has been postponed until 5:00pm March 6th. PSD's website will be down during the maintenance.
 

ESRL/PSD Seminar Series

Challenges in the Interpretation of Climate Ensembles: Why Good Statistical Methods Aren't Enough

Dr. David Stainforth
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Abstract


In the climate negotiations in Cancun last December, agreement was reached on an aspiration for a green fund worth a hundred billion dollars a year by 2020. A significant fraction of this fund is aimed at adaptation to climate change. It is unsurprising therefore that policy makers are increasingly looking to climate science to provide information to support such adaptation efforts. Ideally this would be in the form of climate predictions - probabilistic or otherwise.

Such policy issues align with a developing emphasis in recent years on the exploration of uncertainty in climate model projections. These efforts include substantial investment in multi-model and perturbed physics ensembles with atmosphere/ocean global circulation models; as well as similar efforts with simpler models. We are now in a situation where we have tens of thousands of simulations exploring model uncertainty and initial condition uncertainty within such models. Unfortunately, how to interpret these ensembles remains unclear at a very basic level.

Here I will present results from a 40,000 member ensemble of GCM simulations, carried out within the climateprediction.net project. These results will be used to illustrate the basic challenges in climate ensemble interpretation; particularly in the context of policy support. Issues discussed will include the lack of model independence, questions of model adequacy for purpose, and the relationship between model diversity and real world probabilities.


1D-708
Friday, May 20.2011
2:00pm

SECURITY: If you are coming from outside the NOAA campus, you must stop at the Visitor Center to obtain a vistor badge. Please allow 10 extra minutes for this procedure. If you are a foreign national coming from outside the NOAA campus, please contact Barbara Herrli (303-497-3876) for information on access requirements.

Past seminars: 1996-2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012