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Under the pattern scaling approximation the range of possible regional climate change for a particular future period and forcing scenario can be attributed to both the range of global warming for that case and the range of the regional sensitivity or scaled change ‘per degree of warming’. Climate change projections for Australia have used a multi-model ensemble to quantify this response in each variable, with the changes from the different models weighted based on an estimation of likely skill. If more skilful models produce changes that are less diverse, then such weighting can narrow the projected range. To date, skill scores for the present climate have been used for both Australia and all continents. Relationships between scaled change quantities can provide further insights. In particular, the ensemble of values for simulated Australian rainfall change correlates well with a pattern of tropical change that resembles ENSO. Changes in precipitation and temperature over the USA also suggest an influence of mode-like patterns in the future trend fields. As an initial step, the skill of models for the present climate means and variability over the tropics is assessed. The potential for these scores to influence projections is explored.
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