Piers Forster

Piers Forster
University of Leeds · School of Earth and Environment

PhD Meteorology

About

372
Publications
119,531
Reads
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37,981
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2005 - present
University of Leeds
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2002 - December 2002
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Position
  • Visiting Researcher
January 1999 - December 1999
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Visiting Researcher

Publications

Publications (372)
Article
Most present-generation climate models simulate an increase in global-mean surface temperature (GMST) since 1998, whereas observations suggest a warming hiatus. It is unclear to what extent this mismatch is caused by incorrect model forcing, by incorrect model response to forcing or by random factors. Here we analyse simulations and observations of...
Article
Full-text available
Black carbon aerosol plays a unique and important role in Earth's climate system. Black carbon is a type of carbonaceous material with a unique combination of physical properties. This assessment provides an evaluation of black-carbon climate forcing that is comprehensive in its inclusion of all known and relevant processes and that is quantitative...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of anthropogenic aerosols on cloud droplet concentrations and radiative properties is the source of one of the largest uncertainties in the radiative forcing of climate over the industrial period. This uncertainty affects our ability to estimate how sensitive the climate is to greenhouse gas emissions. Here we perform a sensitivity analy...
Article
[1] We utilize energy budget diagnostics from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) to evaluate the models' climate forcing since preindustrial times employing an established regression technique. The climate forcing evaluated this way, termed the adjusted forcing (AF), includes a rapid adjustment term associated with cloud chan...
Article
Full-text available
1] The radiative effects from increased concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHGs) represent the most significant and best understood anthropogenic forcing of the climate system. The most comprehensive tools for simulating past and future climates influenced by WMGHGs are fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs...
Preprint
While the IPCC’s physical science report usually assesses a handful of future scenarios, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Working Group III report (AR6 WGIII) on climate mitigation assesses hundreds to thousands of future emissions scenarios. A key task is to assess the global-mean temperature outcomes of these scenarios in a consistent manner, given the...
Article
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This data descriptor reports the main scientific values from General Circulation Models (GCMs) in the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP). The purpose of the GCM simulations has been to enhance the scientific understanding of how changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and incoming solar radiation perturb the Ear...
Article
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Thermal refugia underpin climate-smart management of coral reefs, but whether current thermal refugia will remain so under future warming is uncertain. We use statistical downscaling to provide the highest resolution thermal stress projections (0.01°/1 km, >230,000 reef pixels) currently available for coral reefs and identify future refugia on loca...
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This study assesses the effective climate sensitivity (EffCS) and transient climate response (TCR) derived from global energy budget constraints within historical simulations of eight CMIP6 global climate models (GCMs). These calculations are enabled by use of the Radiative Forcing Model Intercomparison Project (RFMIP) simulations, which permit acc...
Article
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To track progress towards keeping global warming well below 2 • C or even 1.5 • C, as agreed in the Paris Agreement, comprehensive up-to-date and reliable information on anthropogenic emissions and removals of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is required. Here we compile a new synthetic dataset on anthropogenic GHG emissions for 1970-2018 with a fast...
Article
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Plain Language Summary Climate models are our best tools for predicting how the climate will change in the future. Confidence in future projections relies on the ability to accurately simulate the past. Many of the latest climate models show less warming than observations around the 1960–2000 period, so understanding why is key to making more confi...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) assess the physical science basis of climate change. As part of that contribution, this Technical Summary (TS) is designed to bridge between the comprehensive assessment of the WGI Chapters and its Summary for Policymakers (SPM). I...
Article
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Plain Language Summary There are two main human drivers of climate change: (a) Greenhouse gas emissions, which warm the planet; and (b) air pollution (aerosols) that offset some of this warming. Unfortunately, disentangling the effects of historical aerosol cooling is difficult based on the available observations. Therefore, we often use climate mo...
Preprint
Full-text available
To track progress towards keeping warming well below 2 °C, as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, comprehensive and reliable information on anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is required. Here we provide a dataset on anthropogenic GHG emissions 1970–2019 with a broad country and sector coverage. We build the dataset from recent...
Article
Full-text available
Lockdowns to avoid the spread of COVID-19 have created an unprecedented reduction in human emissions. While the country-level scale of emissions changes can be estimated in near real time, the more detailed, gridded emissions estimates that are required to run general circulation models (GCMs) of the climate will take longer to collect. In this pap...
Preprint
In this session on economy-wide impacts of green recovery, speakers will present their modelling research followed by discussion on the importance of this current pivotal point in the global economy.
Article
Full-text available
Many nations responded to the corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by restricting travel and other activities during 2020, resulting in temporarily reduced emissions of CO2, other greenhouse gases and ozone and aerosol precursors. We present the initial results from a coordinated Intercomparison, CovidMIP, of Earth system model simulations...
Article
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Plain Language Summary Climate change is a response to energy imbalances in the climate system. For example, rising greenhouse gases directly cause an initial imbalance, the radiative forcing, in the planetary radiation budget, and surface temperatures increase in response as the climate attempts to restore balance. The radiative forcing and subseq...
Article
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Effective radiative forcing (ERF) is evaluated in the ACCESS1.0 General Circulation Model (GCM) with fixed land and sea‐surface‐temperatures as well as sea‐ice. The 4xCO2 ERF is 8.0 Wm‐2. In contrast, a typical ERF experiment with only fixed sea‐surface‐temperatures (SST) and sea‐ice gives rise to an ERF of only 7.0 Wm‐2. This difference arises due...
Article
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Following the Paris Agreement, many countries are enacting targets to achieve net-zero GHG emissions. Stringent mitigation will have clear societal benefits in the second half of this century by limiting peak warming and stabilizing climate. However, the near-term benefits of mitigation are generally thought to be less clear because forced surface...
Article
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This paper quantifies the pre-industrial (1850) to present-day (2014) effective radiative forcing (ERF) of anthropogenic emissions of NOX, volatile organic compounds (VOCs; including CO), SO2, NH3, black carbon, organic carbon, and concentrations of methane, N2O and ozone-depleting halocarbons, using CMIP6 models. Concentration and emission changes...
Article
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The remaining carbon budget quantifies the future CO 2 emissions to limit global warming below a desired level. Carbon budgets are subject to uncertainty in the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative CO 2 Emissions (TCRE), as well as to non-CO 2 climate influences. Here we estimate the TCRE using observational constraints, and integrate the geoph...
Conference Paper
The Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) assess the physical science basis of climate change. As part of that contribution, this Technical Summary (TS) is designed to bridge between the comprehensive assessment of the WGI Chapters and its Summary for Policymakers (SPM). It...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic changes in economic activity in 2020. We use estimates of emission changes for 2020 in two Earth System Models (ESMs) to simulate the impacts of the COVID-19 economic changes. Ensembles of nudged simulations are used to separate small signals from meteorological variability. Reductions in aerosol and precursor...
Article
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Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in a changing climate – the “global carbon budget” – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we de...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lockdowns to avoid the spread of COVID-19 have created an unprecedented reduction in human emissions. While the country-level scale of emissions changes can be estimated in near-real-time, the more detailed, gridded emissions estimates that are required to run General Circulation Models (GCM) of the climate will take longer to collect. In this pape...
Article
Full-text available
We assess evidence relevant to Earth's equilibrium climate sensitivity per doubling of atmospheric CO2, characterized by an effective sensitivity S . This evidence includes feedback process understanding, the historical climate record, and the paleoclimate record. An S value lower than 2 K is difficult to reconcile with any of the three lines of ev...
Article
The remaining carbon budget represents the total amount of CO2 that can still be emitted in the future while limiting global warming to a given temperature target. Remaining carbon budget estimates range widely, however, and this uncertainty can be used to either trivialize the most ambitious mitigation targets by characterizing them as impossible,...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between volcanic stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD) and volcanic radiative forcing is key to quantify volcanic climate impacts. In their fifth assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used one scaling factor between volcanic SAOD and volcanic forcing based on climate model simulations of the 1991 Mt....
Article
Full-text available
The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden reduction of both GHG emissions and air pollutants. Here, using national mobility data, we estimate global emission reductions for ten species during the period February to June 2020. We estimate that global NOx emissions declined by as much as 30% in April, contributing a short-term...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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Tropospheric ozone concentrations are sensitive to natural emissions of precursor compounds. In contrast to existing assumptions, recent evidence indicates that terrestrial vegetation emissions in the pre-industrial era were larger than in the present day. We use a chemical transport model and a radiative transfer model to show that revised invento...
Article
Aviation is one of the most important global economic activities in the modern world. Aviation emissions of CO2 and non-CO2 aviation effects result in changes to the climate system (Fig. 1). Both aviation CO2 and the sum of quantified non-CO2 contributions lead to surface warming. The largest contribution to anthropogenic climate change across all...
Article
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The effective radiative forcing, which includes the instantaneous forcing plus adjustments from the atmosphere and surface, has emerged as the key metric of evaluating human and natural influence on the climate. We evaluate effective radiative forcing and adjustments in 13 contemporary climate models that are participating in CMIP6 and have contrib...
Article
Rapid adjustments – the response of meteorology to external forcing while sea surface temperatures (SST) and sea ice are held fixed – can affect the midlatitude circulation and contribute to long-term forced circulation responses in climate simulations. This study examines rapid adjustments in the Southern hemisphere (SH) circulation using nine mod...
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Plain Language Summary Anthropogenic aerosols have an overall cooling effect on climate due to their interaction with incoming solar radiation and influence on cloud properties. Their emissions have offset some of the historical warming induced by increasing greenhouse gases. However, the magnitude of the cooling induced by anthropogenic aerosol re...
Article
Full-text available
Radiative forcing provides an important basis for understanding and predicting global climate changes, but its quantification has historically been done independently for different forcing agents, has involved observations to varying degrees, and studies have not always included a detailed analysis of uncertainties. The Copernicus Atmosphere Monito...
Article
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Climate‐driven changes to environmental conditions are driving severe declines of coral reef ecosystems. Current climate vulnerability estimates commonly focus on ocean warming and typically overlook ecological responses or use broad proxies to represent responses, leading to management decisions based on incomplete views of coral reef futures. We...
Article
Full-text available
Radiative forcing is a fundamental quantity for understanding anthropogenic and natural drivers of past and future climate change1, yet significant uncertainty remains in our quantification of radiative forcing and its model representation2–4. Here we use instrumental measurements of historical global mean surface temperature change and Earth’s tot...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Earth's radiation budget describes the balance between radiation from the sun intercepted by Earth and radiation returned back to space through reflection of solar radiation and emission of terrestrial thermal infrared radiation. This balance is a fundamental property of Earth's climate system as it describes how Earth gains...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. This paper quantifies the effective radiative forcing from CMIP6 models of the present-day anthropogenic emissions of NO<sub> x </sub>, CO, VOCs, SO<sub>2</sub>, NH<sub>3</sub>, black carbon and primary organic carbon. Effective radiative forcing from pre-industrial to present-day changes in the concentrations of methane, N<sub>2</sub>O a...
Article
Full-text available
In 2018 Sterman et al (2018a) published a simple dynamic lifecycle analysis (DLCA) model for forest-sourced bioenergy. The model has been widely cited since its publication, including widespread reporting of the model's headline results within the media. In adapting a successful replication of the Sterman et al (2018a) model with open-source softwa...
Article
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Aerosols interact with radiation and clouds. Substantial progress made over the past 40 years in observing, understanding, and modeling these processes helped quantify the imbalance in the Earth's radiation budget caused by anthropogenic aerosols, called aerosol radiative forcing, but uncertainties remain large. This review provides a new range of...
Article
Full-text available
The observed warming in the atmosphere and ocean can be used to estimate the climate sensitivity linked to present-day feedbacks, which is referred to as the effective climate sensitivity (Shist ). However, such an estimate is affected by uncertainty in the radiative forcing, particularly aerosols, over the historical period. Here, we make use of d...