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Statistical framework for evaluation of climate model simulations by use of climate proxy data from the last millennium – Part 1: Theory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2012 (English)In: Climate of the Past, ISSN 1814-9324, E-ISSN 1814-9332, Vol. 8, no 4, 1339-1353 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A statistical framework for comparing the output of ensemble simulations from global climate models with networks of climate proxy and instrumental records has been developed, focusing on near-surface temperatures for the last millennium. This framework includes the formulation of a joint statistical model for proxy data, instrumental data and simulation data, which is used to optimize a quadratic distance measure for ranking climate model simulations. An essential underlying assumption is that the simulations and the proxy/instrumental series have a shared component of variability that is due to temporal changes in external forcing, such as volcanic aerosol load, solar irradiance or greenhouse gas concentrations. Two statistical tests have been formulated. Firstly, a preliminary test establishes whether a significant temporal correlation exists between instrumental/proxy and simulation data. Secondly, the distance measure is expressed in the form of a test statistic of whether a forced simulation is closer to the instrumental/proxy series than unforced simulations. The proposed framework allows any number of proxy locations to be used jointly, with different seasons, record lengths and statistical precision. The goal is to objectively rank several competing climate model simulations (e.g. with alternative model parameterizations or alternative forcing histories) by means of their goodness of fit to the unobservable true past climate variations, as estimated from noisy proxy data and instrumental observations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 8, no 4, 1339-1353 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Physical Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79592DOI: 10.5194/cp-8-1339-2012ISI: 000308244600015OAI: diva2:550583
Swedish Research Council, 70454201Swedish Research Council, 90751501Swedish Research Council, B0334901EU, European Research Council, FP6 grant 017008
Available from: 2012-11-19 Created: 2012-09-07 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, RolfMoberg, AndersHind, Alistair
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