News FocusPredicting Climate Change

Vital Details of Global Warming Are Eluding Forecasters

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Science  14 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6053, pp. 173-174
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6053.173

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Summary

Climate researchers are quite comfortable with their projections for the world under a strengthening greenhouse, at least on the broadest scales. But ask researchers what's in store for the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest, or even the western half of the United States, and they'll often demur. Switching from global models to models focusing on a single region creates a more detailed forecast, although it also creates more uncertainty. But help is on the way. Regional modelers are well into their first extensive comparison of global-regional model combinations to sort out the uncertainties.