“Understanding the hiatus in global warming” by Dr. Nathan Gillet

Friday, November 15, 1:30-2:30 pm, RCB 6152 (SFU)

While the past decade has been the warmest on record, the warming trend in global mean surface temperature over the past 20 years has been much smaller than the trend over the past 60 years. This ‘hiatus’ in global warming has been the topic of much public and scientific debate. While climate model simulations of the long-term warming trend are consistent with observations, the warming observed over the past 20 years is significantly less than that simulated in a range of current climate models. Recent work suggests that this discrepancy may be linked to a cooling observed in the eastern tropical Pacific which is not reproduced in any of the climate model simulations. Possible contributions of natural climate variability, changes in climate forcings and climate sensitivity to the discrepancy between simulated and observed trends will be discussed.

Dr. Nathan Gillett is a Research Scientist at Environment Canada’s Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, BC. Prior to joining Environment Canada he was a Reader at the Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, UK. Dr. Gillett has served as Lead Author for the recently released Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and as a Lead Author for the WMO/UNEP Ozone Assessment, due to be released in 2014. He holds a PhD from the University of Oxford (2001).
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