Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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PCIC Science Brief: Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years

PCIC Science Briefs are a regular series of brief reports on recent climate science literature, relevant to stakeholders in the Pacific and Yukon Region of Canada. PCIC has developed these briefs because we recognize the need for a bridge between the cutting edge of climate science research and the various stakeholders who need access to this knowledge, in plain-language reports, filtered for regional relevance, and suitable for consideration in planning and adaptation. The PCIC Science Briefs contextualize and explain the results and implications of important scientific findings.

This PCIC Science Brief focuses on recent research in the journal Nature Climate Change by Drs. Fyfe, Gillett and PCIC Director, Dr. Francis Zwiers. The paper compares the observed global warming over the last 20 years in observations and model simulations. Fyfe and colleagues (2013) find that the observed warming over the periods 1993-2012 and 1998-2012 is significantly less than the warming in climate model simulations, but that the same models successfully simulate the rate of warming over the 1900-2012 period. The authors also explore some potential explanations for the differences between the models and observations.

Read this Science Brief.

Fyfe, J.C., N.P. Gillett and F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Climate Change, 3, 767-769, doi:10.1038/nclimate1972.