Publication Abstracts

Schwarzwald and Lenssen 2022

Schwarzwald, K., and N. Lenssen, 2022: The importance of internal climate variability in climate impact projections. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 119, no. 42, e2208095119, doi:10.1073/pnas.2208095119.

Uncertainty in climate projections is driven by three components: scenario uncertainty, intermodel uncertainty, and internal variability. Although socioeconomic climate impact studies increasingly take into account the first two components, little attention has been paid to the role of internal variability, although underestimating this uncertainty may lead to underestimating the socioeconomic costs of climate change. Using large ensembles from seven coupled general circulation models with a total of 414 model runs, we partition the climate uncertainty in classic dose-response models relating county-level corn yield, mortality, and per-capita gross domestic product to temperature in the continental United States. The partitioning of uncertainty depends on the time frame of projection, the impact model, and the geographic region. Internal variability represents more than 50% of the total climate uncertainty in certain projections, including mortality projections for the early 21st century, although its relative influence decreases over time. We recommend including uncertainty due to internal variability for many projections of temperature-driven impacts, including early-century and midcentury projections, projections in regions with high internal variability such as the Upper Midwest United States, and impacts driven by nonlinear relationships.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Schwarzwald, K. and Lenssen, N.},
  title={The importance of internal climate variability in climate impact projections},
  journal={Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - sc03800f
AU  - Schwarzwald, K.
AU  - Lenssen, N.
PY  - 2022
TI  - The importance of internal climate variability in climate impact projections
JA  - Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
VL  - 119
IS  - 42
SP  - e2208095119
DO  - 10.1073/pnas.2208095119
ER  -

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