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Consensus and scatter among climate change projections for the Western US

PI: Mike Dettinger
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Additional Investigators: Dan Cayan, Mary Tyree
During the past year, large numbers of global climate-change simulations have become available, in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (AR4). An urgent question is: Are the IPCC AR4 projections substantially different from previous projections? An ensemble of 84 AR4 projections of California climate change from 12 models responding to 3 greenhouse-gas emission scenarios was resampled to estimate projection distribution functions (pdfs). An 18-member ensemble from the IPCC 3rd Assessment Report (AR3) was similarly evaluated. Comparisons of AR4 and AR3 pdfs show that scatter within the AR3 and AR4 temperature and precipitation ensembles do not noticeably differ by end of the 21st Century, despite the larger size of the AR4 ensemble; precipitation projections for northern California are even more stationary in AR4 than in AR3; and AR4 warmings are generally 0.85șC less than AR3 because of the different models and emissions scenarios used.
  • Cayan, D., A. Luers, M. Hanemann, G. Franco and B. Croes, 2006: Scenarios of Climate Change in California: An Overview. California Climate Change Center, publication #CEC-500-2005-186-SF, 53 pages. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.
  • Cayan, D., P. Bromirski, K. Hayhoe, M. Tyree, M. Dettinger and R. Flick, 2006: Projecting Future Sea Level. California Climate Change Center, publication #CEC-500-2005-202-SF, 64 pages. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.
  • Cayan, Dan, Ed Maurer, Mike Dettinger, Mary Tyree, Katharine Hayhoe, Celine Bonfils, Phil Duffy, and Ben Santer, 2006: Climate Scenarios for California. California Climate Change Center, publication #CEC-500-2005-203-SF, 52 pages. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.
  • Dettinger, M., 2005: Consensus and scatter among climate-change projections for California. Geophysical Research Letters. Submitted. Abstract. Edit.

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