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Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years

Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability.

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Figure 1: Trends in global mean surface temperature.
Figure 2: Global mean surface temperature trends and p values.
Figure 3: Trends in global mean surface temperature and in associated natural and residual time series.


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We thank Greg Flato, Bill Merryfield and Slava Kharin for their comments on an early draft, Knutti Reto for input on our statistical analysis and Piers Forster and Jochem Marotzke for many helpful discussions. We acknowledge the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison and the World Climate Research Programme's Working Group on Coupled Modelling for their roles in making the WCRP CMIP multi-model datasets available.

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J.C.F. helped to carry out the analysis and wrote the initial draft. N.P.G. and F.W.Z. helped with the analysis and edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to John C. Fyfe.

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CMIP5 Models (PDF 241 kb)

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Fyfe, J., Gillett, N. & Zwiers, F. Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Clim Change 3, 767–769 (2013).

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