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Bjorn Stevens

Simple principles underpinning understanding of climate change

Life and Matter Sciences Conference April 26, 2018 Madrid

General information

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces c/ Vitruvio, 5. 28006 Madrid

  • Throughout the Cycle there will be simultaneous interpretation

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

Real Sociedad Española de Física y la Universidad Complutense de Madrid

  • Description
  • Programme

Understanding how Earth's climate changes in response to increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon-dioxide is centred around two simple but related principles: one is that the atmospheric relative humidity remains constant with warming, the other is that the atmospheric circulation remains unchanged. I will explain how important pillars of our understanding of climate change derive from these principles, and why some of the most interesting and challenging problems in climate science are likely related to the ways in which reality may differ from these simple principles. Particularly in the tropics, possible instabilities, while unlikely to change the bigger picture, can have profound effects both on the impacts and pace of warming. Here I outline how advances in high-performance computing offer the opportunity to explore the stability of the tropical circulation under warming, and in doing so are opening a new chapter in climate science.

Thursday, 26


Simple principles underpinning understanding of climate change

Bjorn Stevens
Director, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and University of Hamburg.

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