New research shows regional climate models consistently provide added value across Australia compared to global climate models. As a result, researchers and policymakers can obtain plausible improvements in future climate projections from the current generation of available RCMs.
When the “Beast from the East” brought cold temperatures and heavy snowfall to western Europe in February and March 2018, a lot of people were quick to link the extreme weather to a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) that had recently occurred. CLEX researchers found there was a surprising lack of research on the relationship between SSWs and climate extremes in Europe using observations, so they sought to look at this in more detail to see if this link can really be made.
This study looks at the average climate in the northern hemisphere with a simplified climate model. It considers the atmospheric effects of mountain ranges (Tibet, Rockies), contrasts between land and ocean surface, and ocean currents at the surface (such as the Gulf Stream) and their impact on winter climate.
Using a simplified climate model, researchers forced the south polar winds to reverse arbitrarily and found that the final impact at the surface is indistinguishable from events where the winds reverse in response to natural phenomena.
Using a novel methodology applied to CMIP5 projections CLEX researchers found that the local temperatures experienced by 90% of people would be substantially higher in a transient (still warming) climate than an equilibrium climate where the temperatures have plateaued, for the same global temperature.
Research by CLEX scientists and colleagues re-examines some of the basic assumptions and interpretations in the theory. In particular, they show the SAM cannot be interpreted as a descriptor of mid-latitude variability and it has little imprint on the weather of the storm track.