Chris K. Folland

Chris K. Folland
Met Office · Hadley Centre

BSc(Hons) Physics Reading 1966
Arctic sea ice/Summer North Atlantic Oscillation. Jumps in Arctic Amplification. Skill of 23 forecasts of global temp.

About

259
Publications
84,594
Reads
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36,787
Citations
Introduction
I retired as a Met Office Science Fellow in March 2017, and was Head of Climate Variability and Forecasting (1990-2008). I retain 3 external professorships. I still research: (a) Northern Hemisphere/Arctic summer climate mechanisms (b) biographies of Past Presidents of the Royal Met Soc. for its History Committee (c) other aspects of recent climate. I have >25000 Web of Science (WS) citations, a WS h index of 59. In top 20% of the April 2021 Reuters Hot List of climate change scientists.
Additional affiliations
April 2017 - present
Met Office
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Continuing part time research in retirement and membership of History Ctee of Royal Met Soc. Co-organised one AGU/one Met Soc workshop and published 3 journal papers. 2019 "Research Giant" Award (A$8000) from Univ. of Southern Queensland..
May 2012 - December 2015
University of Gothenburg
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • I was a paid part time member of Gothenburg University, Faculty of Science, though mainly work in UK. The research work on European summer climate variability and mechanisms complements my work as a Research Fellow in the Met Office Hadley Centre.
June 2008 - March 2017
Met Office
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Research into climate variability and change and (mainly European/UK, also now China) seasonal to interannual predictability. Member operational seasonal forecasts. Lead annual real-time global surface temperature forecasts
Education
September 1963 - July 1966
Reading University
Field of study
  • Physics (with chemistry and maths)

Publications

Publications (259)
Article
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Paltridge and Woodruff1 found a warming of global mean sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) of ~1°C in the first half of the present century, but there are doubts about its reality because spurious temperature fluctuations can arise from changes in measuring instruments2,3 and because inter-annual fluctuations may contain sufficient variance to allow th...
Article
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Using the comprehensively quality-controlled Meteorological Office Historical Sea Surface Temperature data set (MOHSST)1,2 we show for the first time that persistently wet and dry periods in the Sahel region of Africa are strongly related to contrasting patterns of sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies on a near-global scale. The anomalies includ...
Article
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We describe a physically based empirical technique for correcting historical sea surface temperature measurements for time-varying biases. The corrections are based on models of heat and moisture transfers from uninsulated (canvas) and partially insulated (wooden) sea temperature buckets exposed on deck. One of the canvas bucket models is tested us...
Article
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Summer climate in the North Atlantic–European sector possesses a principal pattern of year-to-year variability that is the parallel to the well-known North Atlantic Oscillation in winter. This summer North Atlantic Oscillation (SNAO) is defined here as the first empirical orthogonal function (EOF) of observed summertime extratropical North Atlantic...
Article
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The time series of monthly global mean surface temperature (GST) since 1891 is successfully reconstructed from known natural and anthropogenic forcing factors, including internal climate variability, using a multiple regression technique. Comparisons are made with the performance of 40 CMIP5 models in predicting GST. The relative contributions of t...
Article
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While the annual mean Arctic Amplification (AA) index varied between two and three during the 1970–2000 period, it reached values exceeding four during the first two decades of the 21st century. The AA did not change in a continuous fashion but rather in two sharp increases around 1986 and 1999. During those steps the mean global surface air temper...
Article
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We describe the life and scientific accomplishments of Professor Raymond Hide. He was a past President of the Royal Meteorological Society and a supreme example of a geophysicist much honoured in his lifetime. He covered a wide area of geophysics from geomagnetism, meteorology, geodesy, oceanography and related aspects of planetary physics. Raymond...
Article
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This study analyzes future climate for the Mediterranean region projected with the high-resolution coupled CM2.5 model, which incorporates a new and improved land model (LM3). The simulated climate changes suggest pronounced warming and drying over most of the region. However, the changes are distinctly smaller than those of the CMIP5 multi-model e...
Article
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We compare projections of the observed hemispherical mean surface temperature (HadCRUT4.6.0.0) and the ensemble mean of CMIP5 climate models' simulations on a set of standard regression model forcing variables. We find that the volcanic aerosol regression coefficients of the CMIP5 simulations are consistently significantly larger (by 40–49%) than t...
Article
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There is a growing research interest in understanding extreme weather in the context of anthropogenic climate change, posing a requirement for new tailored climate data products. Here we introduce the Climate of the 20th Century Plus Detection and Attribution project (C20C + D&A), an international collaboration generating a product specifically int...
Article
We present a short biography of Sir John Mason, part of Weather's series of pen portraits of Past Presidents of the Royal Meteorological Society. This biography is longer than a normal pen portrait to reflect Sir John Mason's exceptional and wide‐ranging achievements and to show how he contributed to the debate about climate change. We include a di...
Article
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The realistic simulation of the summer Mediterranean climate requires not only refined spatial scales, but also an adequate representation of land-atmosphere interactions and teleconnections. Addressing all of these issues remains a challenge for most of the CMIP3/CMIP5 generation models. In this study we analyze high-resolution (~0.5° lat x lon) R...
Article
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In 2017, the dominant greenhouse gases released into Earth's atmosphere-carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide-reached new record highs. The annual global average carbon dioxide concentration at Earth's surface for 2017 was 405.0 ± 0.1 ppm, 2.2 ppm greater than for 2016 and the highest in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice cor...
Article
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Ch 7. Regional Climates: f. Europe and the Middle East
Article
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The UK experienced record average rainfall in winter 2013–14, leading to widespread and prolonged flooding. The immediate cause of this exceptional rainfall was a very strong and persistent cyclonic atmospheric circulation over the North East Atlantic Ocean. This was related to a very strong North Atlantic jet stream which resulted in numerous dama...
Article
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Key Points • Systematic evaluation of temporal and spatial features of the IPO in CMIP5 using TPI • Decadal variance of the IPO is commonly underestimated in models relative to observations • Models that simulate the IPO spatial pattern well also tend to simulate low frequency temporal characteristics Accelerated warming and hiatus periods in...
Article
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We present a case study of long range forecasts for Northern Hemisphere winter 2015/2016. This winter produced the strongest El Niño event since 1997/1998 and equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies exceeded 3 °C. Other factors relevant to the Northern Hemisphere extratropical atmosphere circulation included a strong westerly phase of...
Article
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The Earth’s global average surface climate is primarily determined by the exchange of energy between the atmosphere, the oceans and space. However, changes in regional climate are often governed by changes in the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean. These form coherent patterns like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) fluctuations in tropic...
Article
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Arctic warming has sparked a growing interest because of its possible impacts on mid-latitude climate 1–5. A number of unusually harsh cold winters have occurred in many parts of East Asia and North America in the past few years 2,6,7 , and observational and modelling studies have suggested that atmospheric variability linked to Arctic warming migh...
Article
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The English Lowlands is a relatively dry, densely populated region in the south-east of the UK in which water is used intensively. Consequently, parts of the region are water-stressed and face growing water resource pressures. The region is heavily dependent on groundwater and particularly vulnerable to long, multi-annual droughts primarily associa...
Article
Full-text available
The English Lowlands is a relatively dry, densely populated region in the south-east of the UK in which water is used intensively. Consequently, parts of the region are water-stressed and face growing water resource pressures. The region is heavily dependent on groundwater and particularly vulnerable to long, multi-annual droughts primarily associa...
Article
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A new index is developed for the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, termed the IPO Tripole Index (TPI). The IPO is associated with a distinct ‘tripole’ pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA), with three large centres of action and variations on decadal timescales, evident in the second principal component (PC) of low-pass filtered globa...
Article
Full-text available
The English Lowlands is a relatively dry, densely populated region in the southeast of the UK in which water is used very intensively. Consequently, parts of the region are water-stressed and face growing water resource pressures. The region is heavily dependent on groundwater and particularly vulnerable to long, multi-annual droughts, primarily as...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The English Lowlands is the most populated part of the UK, and parts of the region are already water-stressed. The region is heavily dependent on groundwater resources, and is thus vulnerable to long, multi-annual drought episodes that include dry winters (winter being the time groundwater is replenished). This study uses a range of meteorological...
Article
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Until recently, long range forecast systems showed only modest levels of skill in predicting surface winter climate around the Atlantic basin and associated fluctuations in the North Atlantic Oscillation at seasonal lead times. Here we use a new forecast system to assess seasonal predictability of winter north Atlantic climate. We demonstrate that...
Article
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For the first time in serveral years, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation did not dominate regional climate conditions around the globe. A weak La Ni a dissipated to ENSOneutral conditions by spring, and while El Nino appeared to be emerging during summer, this phase never fully developed as sea surface temperatures in the eastern conditions. Neverthe...
Article
The present study examines the impacts of snow initialization on surface air temperature by a number of ensemble seasonal predictability experiments using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3) AGCM with and without snow initialization. The study attempts to isolate snow signals on surface air temperature. In this preliminary study, a...
Article
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We discuss 13 real-time forecasts of global annualmean surface temperature issued by the United Kingdom Met Office for 1 year ahead for 2000–2012. These involve statistical, and since 2008, initialized dynamical forecasts using the Met Office DePreSys system. For the period when the statistical forecast system changed little, 2000– 2010, issued for...
Article
We estimate the potential predictability of European winter temperature using factors based on physical studies of their influences on European winter climate. These influences include sea surface temperature patterns in different oceans, major tropical volcanoes, the quasi-biennial oscillation in the tropical stratosphere, and anthropogenic climat...
Article
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Using Arctic ice core data sets, we provide strong observational evidence for two distinct time scales of Arctic temperature fluctuations that are interpreted as variability associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The dominant and the only highly statistically significant multidecadal signal has a time scale of about 20 years....
Article
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Here we present a study of the relationship between July–August (JA) mean climate over China, which is strongly linked to the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), and the summer (JA) North Atlantic Oscillation (SNAO). The variations of temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover related to the SNAO were analyzed for the period 1951–2002 using gridded...
Article
Full-text available
Using five ice core data sets combined into a single time series, we provide for the first time strong observational evidence for two distinct time scales of Arctic temperature fluctuation that are interpreted as variability associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The dominant and the only statistically significant multidecadal...
Article
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The seasonal mean variability of the atmospheric circulation is affected by processes with time scales from less than seasonal to interannual or longer. Using monthly mean data from an ensemble of Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM) realisations, the interannual variability of the seasonal mean is separated into intraseasonal, and slowly v...
Article
We comment in some detail on the difficulties of correctly capturing recent Arctic warming accurately in global surface temperature data sets. We also discuss likely biases in modern sea surface temperature (SST) data worldwide and the effect these may have on assessed global temperatures The latter likely lead to a small underestimation of global...
Article
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Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the North Atlantic Ocean show multidecadal fluctuations known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) . The AMO has been related to the thermohaline circulation, which implies a strong association to large-scale climate variability. Indeed, the variability of a wide range of climate parameters in the North...
Article
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Understanding the phase relationship between climate changes in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is essential for our understanding of the dynamics of the Earth's climate system. In this paper we show that the 20th century de-trended Arctic and Antarctic temperatures vary in anti-phase seesaw pattern - when the Arctic warms the Antarctica cools and...
Article
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The ECHAM 3.2 (T21), ECHAM 4 (T30) and LMD (version 6, grid-point resolution with 96 longitudes × 72 latitudes) atmospheric general circulation models were integrated through the period 1961 to 1993 forced with the same observed Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) as compiled at the Hadley Centre. Three runs were made for each model starting from diffe...
Article
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A multi-model set of atmospheric simulations forced by historical sea surface temperature (SST) or SSTs plus Greenhouse gases and aerosol forcing agents for the period of 1950–1999 is studied to identify and understand which components of the Asian–Australian monsoon (A–AM) variability are forced and reproducible. The analysis focuses on the summer...
Article
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We use a simple methodology to test whether a set of atmospheric climate models with prescribed radiative forcings and ocean surface conditions can reproduce twentieth century climate variability. Globally, rapid land surface warming since the 1970s is reproduced by some models but others warm too slowly. In the tropics, air-sea coupling allows mod...
Article
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1] Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910–1940 and 1970–2008) by a significant 1940– 1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of t...
Article
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The summer North Atlantic Oscillation (SNAO) is strongly associated with July–August climate variability over Europe, especially in northern regions. This association includes drought, where a positive SNAO corresponds to dry conditions over much of northern Europe and wet conditions in southern Europe, but the SNAO/climate association is weaker an...
Article
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The ability of atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs), that are forced with observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs), to simulate the Indian monsoon rainfall (IMR) variability on interannual to decadal timescales is analyzed in a multimodel intercomparison. The multimodel ensemble has been performed within the CLIVAR International “Climate...