Consensus on Twenty-First-Century Rainfall Projections in Climate Models More Widespread than Previously Thought

Power, Scott B. and Delage, Francois and Colman, Robert and Moise, Aurel (2012) Consensus on Twenty-First-Century Rainfall Projections in Climate Models More Widespread than Previously Thought. Journal of Climate, 25 (11). pp. 3792-3809. ISSN 0894-8755


Abstract

Under global warming, increases in precipitation are expected at high latitudes and near major tropical convergence zones in some seasons, while decreases are expected in many subtropical and midlatitude areas in between. In many other areas there is no consensus among models on the sign of the projected change. This is often assumed to indicate that precipitation projections in these regions are highly uncertain. Here, twenty-first century precipitation projections under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B scenario using 24 World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)/Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) climate models are examined. In areas with no consensus on the sign of projected change there are extensive subregions where the projected change is 'very likely' (i.e., probability. 0.90) to be small (relative to, e.g., the size of interannual variability during the late twentieth century) or zero. The statistical significance of and interrelationships between methods used to identify model consensus on projected change in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report are examined, and the impact of interdependency among model projections on statistical significance is investigated. Interdependency among projections is shown to be much weaker than interdependency among simulations of climatology. The results show that there ismore widespread consistency among the model projections than one might infer from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment report. This discovery highlights the broader need to identify regions, variables, and phenomena that are expected to be little affected by anthropogenic climate change and to communicate this information to the wider community. This is especially important for projections of climate for the next 1-3 decades. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2022 22:52
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 22:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: Meteorology; Precipitation; Air Pollution; Climate change; A1B scenarios; Anthropogenic climate changes; Climate research; Climate variability; Convergence zones; General circulation model; High Latitudes; Interannual variability; Intercomparisons; Intergovernmental panel on climate changes; Midlatitudes; Project phase; Special report on emissions scenarios; Statistical significance; Subtropics; Twentieth century; Climate change; Climate models; Climate variability; General circulation models; Rainfall; Subtropics;
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370201 Climate change processes
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) ""
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960303 Climate Change Models
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190507 Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190501 Climate change models
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00354.1
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42436

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