Richard P Allan

Richard P Allan
University of Reading · Department of Meteorology

PhD

About

219
Publications
57,676
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
20,539
Citations
Citations since 2017
78 Research Items
8765 Citations
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
Introduction
I am a professor of climate science at the Department of Meteorology, part of the University of Reading with affiliation to NCAS Climate, NCEO, and the Walker Institute. I use Earth Observation data to explore fluctuations in clouds, water vapour, rainfall and the Earth's radiative energy balance and use this information to assess the realism of climate prediction models and improve our understanding of the climate system.
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
University of Reading
Position
  • Professor of Climate Science
October 2010 - September 2014
University of Reading
Position
  • Reader in Climate Science (Lecturer/Researcher)
January 2003 - October 2010
University of Reading
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
October 1995 - October 1998
University of Reading
Field of study
  • Meteorology/Climate Science
September 1992 - June 1995
University of East Anglia
Field of study
  • Environmental Sciences

Publications

Publications (219)
Preprint
Full-text available
The anthropogenic carbon distribution between the atmosphere, land surface and ocean varies significantly with the choice of scenario for identical changes in mean global surface temperature. Moving to a lower CO2 emissions scenario means that warming levels occur later, and with significantly less carbon in the three main carbon reservoirs. After...
Article
Full-text available
For the first time in the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), water has been the focus of dedicated chapters in both Working Group 1 (Chapter 8) and 2 (Chapter 4). Nevertheless, we argue here that water has not yet received the full attention it deserves from both scientists and policymakers for several...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the dependence of radiative feedback on the pattern of sea‐surface temperature (SST) change in 14 Atmospheric General Circulation Models (AGCMs) forced with observed variations in SST and sea‐ice over the historical record from 1871 to near‐present. We find that over 1871–1980, the Earth warmed with feedbacks largely consistent and s...
Preprint
The Earth climate system is out of energy balance and heat has accumulated continuously over the past decades, warming the ocean, the land, the cryosphere and the atmosphere. According to the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this planetary warming over multiple decades is human-driven and results in unpreceden...
Article
Full-text available
We identify global observed changes in dry‐spell characteristics that are consistent with future projections and involve common physical drivers. Future projections of longer dry spells in the dry season increase vegetation water stress and can negatively impact perennial vegetation. Lengthening dry season dry spells of up to ∼2 days per decade ove...
Article
Full-text available
Global‐scale changes in water vapor and responses to surface temperature variability since 1979 are evaluated across a range of satellite and ground‐based observations, a reanalysis (ERA5) and coupled and atmosphere‐only CMIP6 climate model simulations. Global‐mean column integrated water vapor increased by 1%/decade during 1988–2014 in observation...
Preprint
We present evidence that the previously reported 2014-2016 North Atlantic cold fresh anomaly (CFA) and warming/ salinification of the North American coastal region are reciprocal effects of an interruption of Gulf Stream (GS) mass transport near 45oW. In February-March 2014, sudden cooling and reduced salinity near the Milne seamounts (45oN, 40oW)...
Article
Full-text available
Until now, driving mechanisms behind recurring droughts and hydroclimate variations that controls the Nile River Basin (NRB) remains poorly understood. Our results show significant hydroclimatic changes that contributed to recent increasing aridity of NRB since the 1970s. Besides climate warming, the influence of stronger ENSO and Indian Ocean dipo...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a new data set of gauged streamflow (N = 3,224) for Europe spanning the period 1962–2017. The Monthly Streamflow of Europe Dataset (MSED) is freely available at http://msed.csic.es/. Based on this data set, changes in the characteristics of hydrological drought (i.e., frequency, duration, and severity) were assessed for differen...
Preprint
Preprint version, the final open access version is available here: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2022JD036728
Article
Full-text available
The change in ocean net surface heat flux plays an important role in the climate system. It is closely related to the ocean heat content change and ocean heat transport, particularly over the North Atlantic, where the ocean loses heat to the atmosphere, affecting the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) variability and hence the globa...
Article
Full-text available
Human society and natural systems are intrinsically adapted to the local climate mean and variability. Therefore, changes relative to the local expected variability are highly relevant for assessing impact and planning for adaptation as the climate changes. We analyse the emerging climate signal relative to the diagnosed internal variability (signa...
Article
Full-text available
The European drought of 1921 is assessed in terms of its impacts on society and in terms of its physical characteristics. The development of impacts of the drought are categorized by a systematic survey of newspaper reports from five European newspapers covering the area from England to the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe. This is coupled...
Article
Full-text available
A key goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is to keep global mean temperature change at 2°C and if possible under 1.5°C by the end of the century. To investigate the likelihood of achieving this target, we calculate the year of exceedance of a given Global Warming Threshold (GWT) temperature across thirty-two CMIP6 models for Shared Socioeconom...
Article
Full-text available
The hydrological cycle has a significant impact on human activities and ecosystems, so understanding its mechanisms with respect to a changing climate is essential. In particular, a more detailed understanding of hydrological cycle response to transient climate change is required for successful adaptation and mitigation policies. In this study, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Until now, driving mechanisms behind recurring droughts and hydroclimate variations that controls the Nile River Basin (NRB) remain not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that recent increasing aridity of NRB is attributed to the growing influence of stronger ENSO and Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), and SST gradient over the Arabian Sea (WTI...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change will result in more dry days and longer dry spells; however, the resulting impacts on crop growth depend on the timing of these longer dry spells in the annual cycle. Using an ensemble of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 and phase 6 (CMIP5 and CMIP6) simulations, and a range of emission scenarios, here we examine changes...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter assesses multiple lines of evidence to evaluate past, present and future changes in the global water cycle. It complements material in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 on observed and projected changes in the water cycle, and Chapters 10 and 11 on regional climate change and extreme events. The assessment includes the physical basis for water cycl...
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
Full-text available
Teleconnection patterns affect the weather and climate on both interannual and decadal timescales which in turn affects various socio‐economic sectors such as agriculture. We use 3 climate indices based on E‐OBS data from the INDECIS dataset (growing season onset (ogs10), growing season rainfall (gsr) and growing season temperature (ta_o)) to asses...
Preprint
Full-text available
The European drought of 1921 is assessed in terms of its impacts on society and in terms of its physical characteristics. The development of impacts of the drought are categorized by a systematic survey of newspaper reports from five European newspapers covering the area from England to the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe. This is coupled...
Article
A large number of recent studies have aimed at understanding short-duration rainfall extremes, due to their impacts on flash floods, landslides and debris flows and potential for these to worsen with global warming. This has been led in a concerted international effort by the INTENSE Crosscutting Project of the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Exchan...
Article
Full-text available
NASA Precipitation Measurement Mission observations are used to evaluate the diurnal cycle of precipitation from three CMIP6 models (NCAR-CESM2, CNRM-CM6-1, CNRM-ESM2-1) and the ERA5 reanalysis. NASA’s global-gridded IMERG product, which combines spaceborne microwave radiometer, infrared sensor and ground-based gauge measurements, provides high spa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human society and natural systems are intrinsically adapted to the local climate mean and variability. Therefore, changes relative to the local expected variability are highly relevant for assessing impact and planning for adaptation as the climate changes. We analyse the emerging climate signal relative to the diagnosed internal variability (signa...
Article
https://rdcu.be/cdCei Short-duration (1–3 h) rainfall extremes can cause serious damage to societies through rapidly developing (flash) flooding and are determined by complex, multifaceted processes that are altering as Earth’s climate warms. In this Review, we examine evidence from observational, theoretical and modelling studies for the intensif...
Article
Full-text available
The potential effect of climate change on regional suitability for cocoa cultivation is a serious economic concern for West Africa—especially for Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, whose cocoa cultivation accounts for respectively ∼19% and ∼45% of world production. Here, we present a modelling and observational study of cocoa net primary productivity (NPP) i...
Article
Full-text available
The study of energy flows in the Earth system is essential for understanding current climate change. To understand how energy is accumulating and being distributed within the climate system, an updated reconstruction of energy fluxes at the top of atmosphere, surface and within the atmosphere derived from observations is presented. New satellite an...
Article
Full-text available
Time series of global mean surface temperature are widely used to measure the rate of climate change that results from Earth's energy imbalance. However, studies based on climate model simulations suggest that on annual-to-decadal timescales global ocean heat content is a more reliable indicator. Here we examine the observational evidence for this,...
Article
Full-text available
The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) accounts for more than 30% of the global precipitation and its variability has a great effect on the people living in the tropical area. It is the manifestation of the Hadley circulation, tropical dynamic and thermodynamic coupling and the air-sea interaction. Therefore, it is essential to understand the ch...
Article
Full-text available
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been, and will continue to be, a key factor in the modulation of climate change both locally and globally. However, there remains considerable uncertainty in recent AMOC evolution. Here, we show that the multi-model mean AMOC strengthened by approximately 10% from 1850-1985 in new simulatio...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, thermodynamics explains an increase in atmospheric water vapor with warming of around 7%/°C near to the surface. In contrast, global precipitation and evaporation are constrained by the Earth's energy balance to increase at ∼2-3%/°C. However, this rate of increase is suppressed by rapid atmospheric adjustments in response to greenhouse ga...
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...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of solar (shortwave) radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface underwent substantial variations over recent decades. Since the 1950s, surface shortwave radiation gradually decreased at widespread locations. In Europe, this so-called surface dimming continued until the late 1980s, when surface brightening set in and surface shortwave rad...
Data
Figure 3 shows correlation for the SST trend 1900-2018 and not the correlation with global SST as stated in the Figure 3 caption though both correlation maps look very similar.
Article
Full-text available
Five satellite top-of-atmosphere (TOA) albedo products over land were evaluated in this study including global products from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) (TAL-AVHRR), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (TAL-MODIS), and Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES); one regional product from the Clim...
Article
Full-text available
Intense sub‐daily summer rainfall is linked to flooding impacts in the UK. Characterizing the atmospheric conditions prior to the rainfall event can improve understanding of the large‐scale mechanisms involved. The most intense sub‐daily rainfall intensity data generated from rain gauge records across the UK over the period 1979‐2014 are combined w...
Article
Full-text available
The biannual seasonal rainfall regime over the southern part of West Africa is characterised by two wet seasons, separated by the ‘Little Dry Season’ in July–August. Lower rainfall totals during this intervening dry season may be detrimental for crop yields over a region with a dense population that depends on agricultural output. Coupled Model Int...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide sea surface temperatures (SST) have increased on average by about 1 °C since 1900 with the exception of a region of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre near 50°N which has cooled by up to 0.9 °C over the same period, generating the negative feature on temperature anomaly maps which has been colloquially described by Rahmstorf et al. (2015, h...
Article
Full-text available
An observed decline in the Eastern African Long Rains from the 1980s to late 2000s appears contrary to the projected increase under future climate change. This “Eastern African climate paradox” confounds use of climate projections for adaptation planning across Eastern Africa. Here we show the decline corresponds to a later onset and earlier cessat...
Article
Full-text available
Le projet Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions en Afrique de l'Ouest (DACCIWA) financé par l'UE a produit le jeu de données le plus complet à ce jour sur l'atmosphère du sud de l'Afrique de l’Ouest. L'analyse de ces données en combinaison avec les résultats de modéles numériques a conduit aux conclusions suivantes.
Research
Full-text available
The policy brief summarise the key and societally relevant findings of the EU-funded Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA, www.dacciwa.eu) project. It focusses on the impact of air pollution on health, weather and climate in southern West Africa. Target groups are policymakers, stakeholder, media, the public but als...
Article
Using volcanic sulfur dioxide emissions in an aerosol-climate model, we derive a time series of global-mean volcanic effective radiative forcing (ERF) from 1979 to 2015. For 2005–2015, we calculate a global multiannual mean volcanic ERF of −0.08 W/m² relative to the volcanically quiescent 1999–2002 period, due to a high frequency of small-to-modera...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the seasonality of precipitation over Africa have high potential for detrimental socio-economic impacts due to high societal dependence upon seasonal rainfall. Here, for the first time we conduct a continental scale analysis of changes in wet season characteristics under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 climate projection scenarios across an ense...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of rain on radiative fluxes and heating rates is a process that is neglected in most of the large scale atmospheric models used for weather forecasting or climate prediction. Yet to our knowledge, the magnitude of the resulting radiative bias remains unquantified. This study aims to quantify the rain radiative effect (RRE) at a range of...
Article
Full-text available
'In the original HTML version of this Article, ref.12 was incorrectly cited in the first sentence of the first paragraph of the Introduction. The correct citation is ref. 2. This has now been corrected in the HTML version of the Article; the PDF version was correct at the time of publication.'
Article
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean is a pivotal component of the global climate system yet it is poorly represented in climate models, with significant biases in upper-ocean temperatures, clouds and winds. Combining Atmospheric and Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (AMIP5/CMIP5) simulations, with observations and equilibrium heat budget theory, we show that a...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Historical in situ sub-daily rainfall observations are essential for the understanding of short-duration rainfall extremes but records are typically not readily accessible and data are often subject to errors and inhomogeneities. Furthermore, these events are poorly quantified in projections of future climate change making adaptation to the risk of...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of cloud to the radiation budget of southern West Africa (SWA) is poorly understood and yet it is important for understanding regional monsoon evolution and for evaluating and improving climate models, which have large biases in this region. Radiative transfer calculations applied to atmospheric profiles obtained from the CERES-Clo...
Article
Tropical eastern Pacific sea surface temperature plays a pivotal role in mechanisms that determine global mean surface temperature variability. In this study, the surface flux contribution to recent cooling of the tropical eastern Pacific is investigated using data from three atmospheric reanalyses with full assimilation of observations, an observa...
Article
Full-text available
Historical in situ sub-daily rainfall observations are essential for the understanding of short-duration rainfall extremes but records are typically not readily accessible and data are often subject to errors and inhomogeneities. Furthermore, these events are poorly quantified in projections of future climate change making adaptation to the risk of...
Article
Full-text available
An objective technique for analysing seasonality, in terms of regime, progression and timing of the wet seasons, is applied in the evaluation of CMIP5 simulations across continental Africa. Atmosphere-only and coupled integrations capture the gross observed patterns of seasonal progression and give mean onset/cessation dates within 18 days of the o...
Article
Full-text available
Ch 7. Regional Climates: f. Europe and the Middle East