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Theoretical tools for understanding the climate crisis from Hasselmann’s programme and beyond

journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-28, 15:43 authored by V Lucarini, MD Chekroun

Klaus Hasselmann’s revolutionary intuition in climate science was to use the stochasticity associated with fast weather processes to probe the slow dynamics of the climate system. Doing so led to fundamentally new ways to study the response of climate models to perturbations, and to perform detection and attribution for climate change signals. Hasselmann’s programme has been extremely influential in climate science and beyond. In this Perspective, we first summarize the main aspects of such a programme using modern concepts and tools of statistical physics and applied mathematics. We then provide an overview of some promising scientific perspectives that might clarify the science behind the climate crisis and that stem from Hasselmann’s ideas. We show how to perform rigorous and data-driven model reduction by constructing parameterizations in systems that do not necessarily feature a timescale separation between unresolved and resolved processes. We outline a general theoretical framework for explaining the relationship between climate variability and climate change, and for performing climate change projections. This framework enables us seamlessly to explain some key general aspects of climatic tipping points. Finally, we show that response theory provides a solid framework supporting optimal fingerprinting methods for detection and attribution.

History

Author affiliation

College of Science & Engineering/Comp' & Math' Sciences

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Nature Reviews Physics

Volume

5

Issue

12

Pagination

744 - 765

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

eissn

2522-5820

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2024-05-02

Language

en

Deposited by

Professor Valerio Lucarini

Deposit date

2024-02-26

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