Zeke Hausfather, Henri F. Drake, Tristan Abbott, Gavin A. Schmidt

Geophysical Research Letters

Published date December 4, 2019

Evaluating the performance of past climate model projections

The big takeaway is that climate models have been around a long time, and in terms of getting the basic temperature of the Earth right, they’ve been doing that for a long time.

Zeke Hausfather, lead author and researcher at the University of California at Berkeley

  • Analyses the performance of climate models published between 1970 and 2007 in projecting future global mean surface temperature (GMST) changes
  • Compares models to observations based on both the change in GMST over time and the change in GMST over the change in external forcing
  • Finds that climate models published over the past five decades were skillful in predicting subsequent GMST changes, with most models examined showing warming consistent with observations, particularly when mismatches between model‐projected and observationally‐estimated forcings were taken into account
  • Concludes that this research should help resolve public confusion around the performance of past climate modeling efforts, and increases our confidence that models are accurately projecting global warming