Communicating climate variability

Update 10/03/11 – Accepted article also online. Comments very welcome.

Communicating the differences and links between climate variability and climate change is of growing importance, and I am currently writing an article for “Weather” on this. One of the figures in the article is below – more to follow. Essentially, in a similar way to Easterling & Wehner, I have looked at decadal trends in a future temperatures for the A1B scenario for the range of IPCC models, using global means (a), and regional means (b – Europe, c – UK). The histograms show that as the region gets smaller the chance of a decade with a negative trend increases sharply from about 5% for a global mean to 36% for the UK.

Distribution of temperature trends
Histograms of decadal trends in temperature for the SRES A1B scenario for the range of IPCC models, for different regions as labelled.

About Ed Hawkins

Ed Hawkins (twitter: @ed_hawkins) is a climate scientist in NCAS-Climate at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading. His research interests are in decadal variability and predictability of climate, especially in the Atlantic region, and in quantifying the different sources of uncertainty in climate predictions and impacts. Ed is a Contributing Author to IPCC AR5 and a member of the CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group.

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