Climate Change, Climate Prediction, and Climate Services
Predicting future climate and the challenges involved in developing climate services.
University of Bergen / Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Our climate warmed rapidly during the last century. Surface temperature increased globally by around 1°C with much larger warming over land and in the Arctic. Sea level rose rapidly, especially during recent decades and in the western tropical Pacific threatening low-lying islands. Climate change is also influencing the intensity of high impact weather extremes, such as heat waves and heavy precipitation events. These climatic changes have been largely driven by anthropogenic greenhouse emissions, and they will continue and intensify, as we continue to emit greenhouse gases.
In addition to long-term global warming, climate change over the next few years are of immediate interest to society. Furthermore, changes on this shorter time scale can often be larger than long-term warming trends, especially at a regional level. On these time scales natural fluctuations caused by processes within the climate system can be as important as the those associated with long-term global warming.
It is critical to provide society with actionable information on future climate – short and long-term – to facilitate adaptation to climate change. Fortunately, climate predictions are able to provide reliable information on future climate. Unfortunately, the information provided by these predictions is generally not in format directly useful to society. Climate services are being developed to close this gap between the providers and users of climate information, through transdisciplinary research approaches as promoted by sustainability science.
Noel Keenlyside is a professor in tropical meteorology at the University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research. His research focuses on understanding the extent to which climate and its impacts can be predicted, and has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on the topic. He has worked with a range of numerical climate models and leads the development of the Norwegian Climate Prediction model. Recognizing the benefit of this work to society he has started working towards the development of climate services.
This keynote addess is free and open to the public.