Inconsistencies may undermine model’s reliability for projecting decade-to-decade warming and lead to misinterpretation of data
DURHAM, N.C. — A new Duke University-led study finds that most climate models likely underestimate the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth’s atmosphere warms. The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place.
These discrepancies may undermine the models’ reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study’s authors warn. As such, we shouldn’t over-interpret recent temperature trends.
“The inconsistencies we found among the models are a reality check showing we may not know as much as we thought we did,” said lead author Patrick T. Brown, a Ph.D. student in climatology at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
“This doesn’t mean greenhouse gases aren’t causing Earth’s atmosphere to warm up in the long…
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