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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 17 Oct 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 17 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

A computationally efficient model for probabilistic local warming projections constrained by history matching and pattern scaling

Philip Goodwin1, Martin Leduc2, Antti-Ilari Partanen3, H. Damon Matthews4, and Alex Rogers5 Philip Goodwin et al.
  • 1School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 2Ouranos, Montreal, Canada
  • 3Climate System Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • 5Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Abstract. Climate projections are made using a hierarchy of models of different complexities and computational efficiencies. While the most complex climate models contain the most detailed representations of many physical processes within the climate system, both parameter space exploration and Integrated Assessment Modelling require the increased computational efficiency of reduced-complexity models. This study presents an efficient model for projecting local warming across the globe, combining observation constrained global mean projections of an efficient Earth system model with spatial pattern scaling derived from the Climate Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) ensemble. First, global mean warming is projected using a 103-member ensemble of history-matched simulations with the reduced complexity Warming Acidification and Sea-level Projector (WASP) Earth system model. The ensemble-projection of global mean warming from this WASP ensemble is then converted into local warming projections using a pattern scaling analysis from the CMIP5 archive, considering both the mean and uncertainty of the Local to Global Ratio of Temperature Change (LGRTC) spatial patterns from the CMIP5 ensemble for high-end and mitigated scenarios. The LGRTC spatial pattern does not appear strongly scenario dependent in the CMIP5 ensemble, and so should be useful across a variety of arbitrary scenarios. The computational efficiency of our WASP/LGRTC model approach makes it ideal for future incorporation into an Integrated Assessment Model framework, or efficient assessment of multiple scenarios. We utilise an emergent relationship between warming and future cumulative carbon emitted in our simulations to present an approximation tool making local warming projections from total future carbon emitted.

Philip Goodwin et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 15 Dec 2019)
Status: open (until 15 Dec 2019)
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Philip Goodwin et al.
Model code and software

WASP-ESM/WASP_Earth_System_Model: WASP_LGRTC_ESM_v1_Sept_2019 P. Goodwin, M. Leduc, A.-I. Partanen, H. D. Matthews, and A. Rogers

Philip Goodwin et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Numerical climate models are used to make projections of future surface warming for different pathways of future greenhouse gass emissions, where future surface warming will vary from place to place. However, it is so expensive to run complex models using supercomputers that future projections can only be produced for a small number of possible future emissions pathways. This study presents an efficient climate model to make projections of local surface warming using a desktop computer.
Numerical climate models are used to make projections of future surface warming for different...