2018: Sources of Uncertainty in Long-Term Climate Predictions

Led by Kyle Armour (UW Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences) and Aaron Donohoe (UW Polar Science Center/Applied Physics Laboratory).

The annual University of Washington Program on Climate Change Summer Institute took place September 12-14, 2018, in Friday Harbor, WA.  The topic was “Source of Uncertainty in Long-Term Climate Projections” and brought together climate scientists with backgrounds ranging from physical climatology to economics to human behavior and statistics. The following questions provided motivation:

  • Can we quantify uncertainty in global and regional climate change projections? (e.g., in the spatial structure of warming and hydrologic cycle changes)
  • What are the primary sources of climate change uncertainty? (e.g., from emissions, radiative feedbacks, ocean circulation, carbon cycle feedbacks, etc.)
  • What are the major uncertainties in climate change impacts?
  • What are our prospects for better quantifying and/or narrowing climate change uncertainties?
  • How should decisions be made and climate change be communicated in light of recalcitrant uncertainties?

Two paper discussions were scheduled and strongly recommended for participating students and postdocs:

(updated November 2018)

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