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Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop (2016)

Chapter: Appendix A: Statement of Task

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23552.
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Appendix A
Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will plan a workshop to bring together atmospheric and ocean climate experts to review the current science for decadal climate variability. Workshop participants will be asked to:

  1. examine our understanding of the processes governing decadal-scale variability in key climate parameters, observational evidence of decadal variability and potential forcings, and model-based experiments to explore possible factors affecting decadal variations;
  2. identify key science, observing, and modeling gaps;
  3. consider the utility and accuracy of various observations for tracking long-term climate variability, anticipating the onset and end of hiatus regimes, and closing the long-term heat budget;
  4. consider the utility of hiatus regimes as a metric for evaluating performance of long-term climate models; and
  5. consider how best to communicate current understanding of climate variability, including potential causes and consequences, to non-expert audiences.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23552.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23552.
×
Page 59
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23552.
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Page 60
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Many factors contribute to variability in Earth’s climate on a range of timescales, from seasons to decades. Natural climate variability arises from two different sources: (1) internal variability from interactions among components of the climate system, for example, between the ocean and the atmosphere, and (2) natural external forcings, such as variations in the amount of radiation from the Sun. External forcings on the climate system also arise from some human activities, such as the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols. The climate that we experience is a combination of all of these factors.

Understanding climate variability on the decadal timescale is important to decision-making. Planners and policy makers want information about decadal variability in order to make decisions in a range of sectors, including for infrastructure, water resources, agriculture, and energy.

In September 2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to examine variability in Earth’s climate on decadal timescales, defined as 10 to 30 years. During the workshop, ocean and climate scientists reviewed the state of the science of decadal climate variability and its relationship to rates of human-caused global warming, and they explored opportunities for improvement in modeling and observations and assessing knowledge gaps. Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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