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In this paper we explore the potential of variability for constraining the equilibrium response of the climate system to external forcing. We show that the constraint is inherently skewed, with a long tail to high sensitivity, and that while the variability may contain some useful information, it is unlikely to generate a tight constraint.
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ESD | Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Earth Syst. Dynam., 11, 709–719, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-709-2020
Earth Syst. Dynam., 11, 709–719, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-709-2020

Research article 03 Aug 2020

Research article | 03 Aug 2020

What could we learn about climate sensitivity from variability in the surface temperature record?

James D. Annan et al.

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Cited articles

Aldrin, M., Holden, M., Guttorp, P., Skeie, R. B., Myhre, G., and Berntsen, T. K.: Bayesian estimation of climate sensitivity based on a simple climate model fitted to observations of hemispheric temperatures and global ocean heat content, Environmetrics, 23, 253–271, https://doi.org/10.1002/env.2140, 2012. a
Beaumont, M. A., Zhang, W., and Balding, D. J.: Approximate Bayesian computation in population genetics, Genetics, 162, 2025–2035, 2002. a
Brown, P. T., Stolpe, M. B., and Caldeira, K.: Assumptions for emergent constraints, Nature, 563, E1–E3, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0638-5, 2018. a, b
Caldwell, P. M., Bretherton, C. S., Zelinka, M. D., Klein, S. A., Santer, B. D., and Sanderson, B. M.: Statistical significance of climate sensitivity predictors obtained by data mining, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 1803–1808, 2014. a
Cox, P. M., Huntingford, C., and Williamson, M. S.: Emergent constraint on equilibrium climate sensitivity from global temperature variability, Nature, 553, 319–322, 2018a. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p
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Short summary
In this paper we explore the potential of variability for constraining the equilibrium response of the climate system to external forcing. We show that the constraint is inherently skewed, with a long tail to high sensitivity, and that while the variability may contain some useful information, it is unlikely to generate a tight constraint.
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