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Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Uncertainty in warming since pre-industrial times

The consequences of the Paris Agreement’s choice of the pre-industrial as its baseline have been discussed previously on this blog. This choice makes sense from a climate forcing perspective (as radiative forcings are measured with respect to a quasi-equilibrated state, and the well-observed recent past is not close to have finished responding to anthropogenic drivers). …

2017-11-28 22:51   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Is the 1.5°C target still reachable?

In the Paris climate agreement it was agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. There has been a debate whether the ambitious climate change mitigation goal of 1.5 °C is still within reach. …

2017-10-03 19:11   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: What do future eruptions mean for climate projections?

The world has not seen a major volcanic event for at least 25 years, but the tropical volcano Mt Agung on Bali is now threatening to erupt. Mt Agung’s last eruption in 1963 was one of the largest during the 20th century and had widespread climatic effects. Going further back in time, ice core-based volcanic …

2017-10-02 17:46   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Are the models “running too hot”?

Recent media headlines have again discussed the issue of whether climate models are overly sensitive to greenhouse gases. These headlines have misinterpreted a study by Millar et al. which was discussing carbon budgets to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. A recent study by Medhaug et al. analysed the issue of how …

2017-09-20 10:38   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Weathermen of Ben Nevis

For twenty years between 1883 and 1904, three intrepid weathermen lived at the top of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the UK – experiencing some of the worst weather the country has to offer. Every hour, day and night, winter and summer, and whatever the weather, one of them would step outside and …

2017-09-06 00:02   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Mapping changes in UK temperature

The UK Met Office have published an updated dataset of UK climate data from 1910-2016 on a 5km x 5km grid. The maps above show mean annual temperatures in each decade relative to the long-term average of 1910-99. The UK has warmed over the past century, but not at the same rate everywhere. The east …

2017-08-22 15:19   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Linking global temperature and Arctic sea ice changes

As the annual September sea ice minimum in the Arctic approaches, the usual questions arise about whether this year will set a new record for the extent or volume of ice left at the end of the summer. Although there was a new winter record low in 2017 it is looking unlikely that the summer …

2017-08-18 14:01   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Greenland reflections

Icebergs are much like clouds. They form all shapes and sizes, with a multitude of colours and textures. They are dynamic, constantly shifting, and drifting with the prevailing currents and winds. Some days there are lots and other days there are few. The regions where icebergs form are some of the most awe-inspiring environments on …

2017-07-31 13:00   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Volcano reveals simpler than expected cloud-climate response to tiny aerosol particles

In new research a volcanic eruption is exploited as a natural laboratory to test how tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere influence climate through their effect on cloud. Guest post by Richard Allan Pollution haze presents a serious health problem for many regions, particularly large cities such as Beijing. Yet small pollutant particles in the …

2017-07-07 15:40   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Arctic sea ice animation

The decline of Arctic sea ice over the past 40 years has been one of the more obvious signs that Earth’s climate is warming, especially in the summer when the ice extent reaches its annual minimum. Here you can watch how the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has varied since the start of …

2017-06-01 11:00   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Changing wet and dry seasons

The fickle nature of weather patterns is ultimately responsible for the where and when of tropical rainfall extremes which wreak damage on agriculture, infrastructure and people. Tropical cyclones, such as Enawo which battered Madagascar in March, can severely impact low-lying, highly populated regions through intense rainfall combined with strong winds and storm surges. Explosive…

2017-05-30 15:00   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Rapid increase in heat extremes in Europe

In the last few decades, Europe has warmed not only faster than the global average, but also faster than expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases (van Oldenborgh et al., 2009). With the warming, Europe experienced record-breaking heat waves and extreme temperatures, such as the 2003 European heatwave, 2010 Russian heatwave, and 2015 European heatwave, which …

2017-05-23 17:53   Click to comment

Climate Lab Book - Ed Hawkins: Zonal mean temperature change in observations & models

The warming that has occurred over the past 160 years has not been the same everywhere. Certain regions, such as the Arctic, have warmed far more than the Southern Ocean for example. How well do our climate models represent these differences? One way of examining the regional differences in warming is to look at the …

2017-05-11 10:00   Click to comment

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