Monday, April 30, 2012


date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 13:57:08 -0400
from: Andrew Revkin <>
subject: nature paper / ocean model as short-term regional climate forecast

Hi all,

I'd greatly appreciate your input (under Nature embargo rules, meaning no public discussion
til Weds afternoon) on the attached paper (news/views attached as well) forecasting a north
atlantic-driven cool spell for next decade or so based on a new approach to ocean modeling.

this has significance in policy arena, of course, if people don't appreciate that
inevitable wiggles from climate variability can muddy trends. If they don't, then efforts
to paint human-pushed warming as an 'urgent' imperative can be undercut. (this all
presumes you think this is solid model and forecast...)

thanks for input on the basic question of whether this is solid, and/or on the implications
if so.

here are a couple questions i've sent to the authors:

1) I need help figuring out if the 'tip' to North Atlantic cooling (,to the mean) has
already begun, according to the model? Is there any sense that it might have contributed to
the post 1998 slowdown in warming (which varies depending on data set, but seems 'real').
2) Kevin Trenberth (NCAR) and others have urged int'l climate community to move more toward
forecasting, given that no policy choices are going to measurably limit climate change for
decades. This seems like an early-stage tool that could fill that bill. Am I right in that?
What would you like to add to this model to see it play a real-world role?

3) Your cool forecast has significance not only for planners, but for folks locked in
policy debates (kyoto successor, US climate legislation etc). If the public, and
policymakers, don't understand that climate variability can muddy the short-term picture,
are they apt to lose faith in those calling human-forced warming an 'urgent' problem and
the like?


Andrew C. Revkin
The New York Times / Science
620 Eighth Ave., NY, NY 10018
Tel: 212-556-7326 Mob: 914-441-5556
Fax: 509-357-0965

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