Comment | Published:

Celebrating the anniversary of three key events in climate change science

Nature Climate Changevolume 9pages180182 (2019) | Download Citation

Climate science celebrates three 40th anniversaries in 2019: the release of the Charney report, the publication of a key paper on anthropogenic signal detection, and the start of satellite temperature measurements. This confluence of scientific understanding and data led to the identification of human fingerprints in atmospheric temperature.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Data availability

All primary satellite and model temperature datasets used here are publicly available. Derived products (synthetic satellite temperatures calculated from model simulations) are provided at: https://pcmdi.llnl.gov/research/DandA/.

References

  1. 1.

    Charney, J. G. et al. Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (Climate Research Board, National Research Council, 1979).

  2. 2.

    Mitchell, J. F. B. & Karoly, D. J. In Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis (eds Houghton, J. T. et al.) 695–738 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001).

  3. 3.

    Hegerl, G. C. et al. In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis (eds Solomon, S. et al.) 663–745 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007).

  4. 4.

    Bindoff, N. L. et al. In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (eds Stocker, T. F. et al.) 867–952 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).

  5. 5.

    Mears, C. & Wentz, F. J. J. Clim. 30, 7695–7718 (2017).

  6. 6.

    Morice, C. P., Kennedy, J. J., Rayner, N. A. & Jones, P. D. J. Geophys. Res. 117, D08101 (2012).

  7. 7.

    Fyfe, J. C. et al. Nat. Commun. 8, 14996 (2017).

  8. 8.

    Santer, B. D. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 17235–17240 (2013).

  9. 9.

    Knutti, R., Rugenstein, M. A. A. & Hegerl, G. C. Nat. Geosci. 10, 727–736 (2017).

  10. 10.

    IPCC In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (eds Stocker, T. F. et al.) 17 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).

  11. 11.

    Ceppi, P., Brient, F., Zelinka, M. D. & Hartmann, D. L. WIREs Clim. Change 8, e465 (2017).

  12. 12.

    Caldwell, P. M., Zelinka, M. D., Taylor, K. E. & Marvel, K. J. Clim. 29, 513–524 (2016).

  13. 13.

    Klein, S. A., Hall, A., Norris, J. R. & Pincus, R. Surv. Geophys. 38, 1307–1329 (2017).

  14. 14.

    Klein, S. A. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 118, 1329–1342 (2013).

  15. 15.

    Zelinka, M. D., Randall, D. A., Webb, M. J. & Klein, S. A. Nat. Clim. Change 7, 674–678 (2017).

  16. 16.

    Barnett, T. P. et al. Science 309, 284–287 (2005).

  17. 17.

    Hasselmann, K. Meteorology over the Tropical Oceans 251–259 (Royal Meteorological Society, London, 1979).

  18. 18.

    Chervin, R. M., Washington, W. M. & Schneider, S. H. J. Atmos. Sci. 33, 413–423 (1976).

  19. 19.

    North, G. R., Kim, K. Y., Shen, S. S. P. & Hardin, J. W. J. Clim. 8, 401–408 (1995).

  20. 20.

    Karl, T. R., Hassol, S. J., Miller, C. D. & Murray, W. L. (eds) Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences (US Climate Change Science Program, Subcommittee on Global Change Research, 2006).

  21. 21.

    Manabe, S. & Wetherald, R. T. J. Atmos. Sci. 24, 241–259 (1967).

  22. 22.

    Zou, C.-Z. & Qian, H. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech. 33, 1967–1984 (2016).

  23. 23.

    Solomon, S. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 122, 8940–8950 (2017).

  24. 24.

    Fu, Q., Johanson, C. M., Warren, S. G. & Seidel, D. J. Nature 429, 55–58 (2004).

  25. 25.

    Santer, B. D. et al. Sci. Rep. 7, 2336 (2017).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the US Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The authors thank S. Solomon (MIT) and K. Denman, N. McFarlane and K. von Salzen (Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis) for helpful comments. Work at LLNL was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 through the Regional and Global Model Analysis Program (B.D.S., J.F.P., and M.Z.), the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program under Project 18-ERD-054 (S.P.-C.), and the Early Career Research Program Award SCW1295 (C.B.). Support was also provided by NASA Grant NNH12CF05C (F.J.W. and C.M.), NOAA Grant NA18OAR4310423 (Q.F), and by NOAA’s Climate Program Office, Climate Monitoring Program, and NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System Program Office, Proving Ground and Risk Reduction Program (C.-Z.Z.). G.H. was supported by the European Research Council TITAN project (EC-320691) and by the Wolfson Foundation and the Royal Society as a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder (WM130060). The views, opinions and findings contained in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed as a position, policy, or decision of the US Government, the US Department of Energy, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA

    • Benjamin D. Santer
    • , Céline J. W. Bonfils
    • , Jeffrey F. Painter
    • , Stephen Po-Chedley
    •  & Mark D. Zelinka
  2. Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

    • Qiang Fu
  3. Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

    • John C. Fyfe
  4. School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

    • Gabriele C. Hegerl
  5. Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, CA, USA

    • Carl Mears
    •  & Frank J. Wentz
  6. Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA/NESDIS, College Park, MD, USA

    • Cheng-Zhi Zou

Authors

  1. Search for Benjamin D. Santer in:

  2. Search for Céline J. W. Bonfils in:

  3. Search for Qiang Fu in:

  4. Search for John C. Fyfe in:

  5. Search for Gabriele C. Hegerl in:

  6. Search for Carl Mears in:

  7. Search for Jeffrey F. Painter in:

  8. Search for Stephen Po-Chedley in:

  9. Search for Frank J. Wentz in:

  10. Search for Mark D. Zelinka in:

  11. Search for Cheng-Zhi Zou in:

Contributions

B.D.S. conceived the study and performed statistical analyses. J.F.P. calculated synthetic satellite temperatures from model simulation output. C.M., F.J.W., and C.-Z.Z. provided satellite temperature data. All authors contributed to the writing and revision of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Benjamin D. Santer.

Supplementary Information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods and Supplementary Tables S1-S3

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0424-x

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing