Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Departmental Seminar Series
An Estimate of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity From Interannual Variability
a talk by
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, Texas
Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is the amount of equilibrium warming resulting from doubling carbon dioxide. It is one of the important metrics in climate science because it is a primary determinant of how much warming we will experience in the future. Despite decades of work, this quantity remains uncertain: the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated a range for ECS of 1.5–4.5 °C. In this talk, I will review the different ways we can estimate ECS from observations and describe a new approach using observations of interannual climate variations covering the period 2000 to 2017. That method suggests that ECS is likely 2.4–4.6 K. Thus, our analysis provides no support for the bottom of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s range.