Reconciling anthropogenic climate change and variability on decadal  timescales: the challenge

Jones, Roger ORCID: 0000-0001-6970-2797 (2015) Reconciling anthropogenic climate change and variability on decadal  timescales: the challenge. Working Paper. VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


Supporting papers exploring the relationship between anthropogenic climate change and variability on decadal timescales, conclude that gradually increasing radiative forcing interacts with internal variability, producing a series of nonlinear responses manifesting as shifts. For temperature, this produces a step‐ladder like progression under low external forcing that becomes escalator‐like under greater forcing. The dominant gradualist narrative of climate change, which communicated climate change as being a gradual process modulated by climate variability, is therefore considered to be obsolete. This paper summarises these findings and then goes on to explore their implications for methods of climate detection and attribution, prediction, adaptation, mitigation and communication. Currently, these methods depend heavily on linear methods based on least squares trend analysis, but if climate risks are to be characterised accurately, methods to detect climate shifts, to understand and attribute their causes, to characterise climate risks for adaptation and mitigation, and communicate these to the public, all need to be developed.

Additional Information

Commissioned by: VISES, Victoria University.
Climate Change Working Paper 36

Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL
ISBN 9781862727243
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies (VISES)
Keywords decadal variability; climate change; regime change; nonlinear dynamics; detection and attribution; science communication; forecasting
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