Author Archives: niclewis

Why Dessler et al.’s critique of energy-budget climate sensitivity estimation is mistaken

By Nic Lewis

Plain language summary

  • A new paper by Andrew Dessler et al. claims, based on 100 simulations of the historical period (1850 to date) by the MPI‑ESM1.1 climate model, that estimates of climate sensitivity using the energy-budget method can vary widely due to internal climate system variability.
  • I calculated what effect the uncertainty implied by the internal variability affecting the MPI‑ESM1.1 simulations had on the distribution of the primary climate sensitivity estimate in the recent Lewis & Curry energy-budget paper.
  • The result was a marginal narrowing of the Lewis & Curry sensitivity estimate. This is because the allowance for internal variability by Lewis & Curry is larger than internal variability in MPI‑ESM1.1.
  • Since historical period energy-budget sensitivity estimates are much more  imprecise for other reasons, internal variability contributes little to their total uncertainty; it is an unimportant factor.
  • Nothing in the new Dessler et al. paper indicates that the Lewis & Curry energy-budget climate sensitivity estimates are likely to be biased low.

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Impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity

by Nic Lewis

We have now updated the LC15 paper with a new paper that has been published in the Journal of Climate “The impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity“.  The paper also addresses critiques of LC15.

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