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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-15
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
23 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
A mathematical approach to understanding emergent constraints
Femke J. M. M. Nijsse1,2 and Henk A. Dijkstra1,3 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Department of Physics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science, University of Exeter, UK
3Center for Complex Systems Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Abstract. One of the approaches to constrain uncertainty in climate models is the identification of emergent constraints. These are physically explainable empirical relationships between a particular simulated characteristic of the current climate versus future climate change from an ensemble of climate models, which can be exploited using current observations. In this paper, we develop a theory to understand the appearance of such emergent constraints. Based on this theory, we also propose a classification for emergent constraints and applications are shown for several idealized climate models.
Citation: Nijsse, F. J. M. M. and Dijkstra, H. A.: A mathematical approach to understanding emergent constraints, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-15, in review, 2018.
Femke J. M. M. Nijsse and Henk A. Dijkstra
Femke J. M. M. Nijsse and Henk A. Dijkstra
Femke J. M. M. Nijsse and Henk A. Dijkstra

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Short summary
State-of-the art climate models sometimes differ in their prediction of key aspects of climate change. The technique of emergent constraints uses observations of current climate to improve those prediction, using relationships between the models. Our paper first classifies the different uses of the technique, and continues with proposing a mathematical justification for their use. We also highlighted some cases in which the technique has to be adjusted.
State-of-the art climate models sometimes differ in their prediction of key aspects of climate...
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