Climate models predict the world will be 'anomalously warm' until 2022

phys.org | 8/15/2018 | Staff
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The next four years are going to be anomalously warm – even on top of regular climate change. That's according to new research my colleague Sybren Drijfhout and I have just published.

We developed a new prediction system we call PROCAST (PROabilistic foreCAST), and used it to predict the natural variability of the climate system. This refers to how the climate varies naturally from warm to cool phases that last a few years at a time, and is separate from the long-term trend of anthropogenic global warming. PROCAST predicts a warm phase for the next few years.

Work - Nature - Communications - Forecasts - Chances

Our work, published in Nature Communications, is important as such forecasts help predict the chances of events like heatwaves or cold snaps months in advance, and it is now well established that anomalous climatic events have a direct human impact. For example, heatwaves lead to excess deaths in only a few weeks. During the 2003 European heatwave, a long drought caused UK wheat production to drop by 12%.

Tougher winters, meanwhile, can worsen respiratory infections, increasing pressure on health services and the supply of drugs. Indeed, consumption of flu vaccines can vary significantly depending on the weather conditions. In the UK, snowy conditions in winter 2010 were estimated to have cost the economy £690m a day, while natural gas consumption increased massively. Predicting these extreme climatic events up to a season in advance is therefore a priority, in order to allow early adaptation and cost-effective mitigation.

Scientists - Breakthroughs - Understanding - Climate - System

Scientists have made some important breakthroughs in understanding and modelling the climate system, yet these have not yet been transferred into an ability to predict the climate from year to year. This inability has its roots in the deterministic chaos of the climate system, which has been popularised by the idea of the "butterfly effect" where the tiniest error in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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