Publications by Myles Allen

Estimates of uncertainty in predictions of global mean surface temperature

Journal of Climate 20 (2007) 843-855

JA Kettleborough, JA Kettleborough, BBB Booth, PA Stott, MR Allen

A method for estimating uncertainty in future climate change is discussed in detail and applied to pridictions of global mean temperature change. The method uses optimal fingerprinting to make estimates of uncertainty in model simulations of twentieth-century warming. These estimates are then projected forward in time using a linear, compact relationship between twentieth-century warming and twenty-first-century warming. This relationship is established from a large ensemble of energy balance models. By varying the energy balance model parameters an estimate is made of the error associated with using the linear relationship in forecasts of twentieth-century global mean temperature. Including this error has very little impact on the forecasts. There is a 50% chance that the global mean temperature change between 1995 and 2035 will be greater than 1.5 K for the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1FI scenario. Under SRES B2 the same threshold is not exceeded until 2055. These results should be relatively robust to model developments for a given radiative forcing history. © 2007 American Meteorological Society.

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