Publications by Myles Allen

Constraints on model response to greenhouse gas forcing and the role of subgrid-scale processes

Journal of Climate 21 (2008) 2384-2400

BM Sanderson, R Knutti, T Aina, C Christensen, N Faull, DJ Frame, WJ Ingram, C Piani, DA Stainforth, DA Stone, MR Allen

A climate model emulator is developed using neural network techniques and trained with the data from the multithousand-member perturbed physics GCM ensemble. The method recreates nonlinear interactions between model parameters, allowing a simulation of a much larger ensemble that explores model parameter space more fully. The emulated ensemble is used to search for models closest to observations over a wide range of equilibrium response to greenhouse gas forcing. The relative discrepancies of these models from observations could be used to provide a constraint on climate sensitivity. The use of annual mean or seasonal differences on top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes as an observational error metric results in the most clearly defined minimum in error as a function of sensitivity, with consistent but less well-defined results when using the seasonal cycles of surface temperature or total precipitation. The model parameter changes necessary to achieve different values of climate sensitivity while minimizing discrepancy from observation are also considered and compared with previous studies. This information is used to propose more efficient parameter sampling strategies for future ensembles. © 2008 American Meteorological Society.

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