Tough Regional Climate Change Problems: Detection/Attribution and Projections for Hurricanes, Precipitation, and Sea Level Pressure Trends

This event has passed. See the seminar recording here:

Tom Knutson

Lead of Weather and Climate Dynamics Division

NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Monday May 18, 2020

ESSIC Conference Room 4102, 5825 University Research Court, College Park 20740



While the impact of anthropogenic forcing on global mean temperature and other temperature-related variables has now been relatively well-established even at regional scales, the link between anthropogenic forcings and many other important climate variables remains more difficult to establish. In this talk, I explore a regional-based view of the problem of detecting/attributing human influence on climate, with a particular focus on regional tropical cyclone activity, mean annual precipitation, and sea level pressure trends.

These are all examples of climate variables where the science of detection/attribution is more challenged, where climate models still struggle to simulate regional historical trends that are consistent with observed trends, and thus where future projections continue to have large uncertainties for important regional projections.


Tom Knutson is a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, in Princeton, New Jersey, where he leads the Weather and Climate Dynamics Division. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has served as the Chair of the World Meteorological Organization’s Expert Team on Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change. He led a recent assessment on tropical cyclones and climate change, which was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in 2019. He was the lead author of the chapter on “Detection and Attribution of Climate Change” in the U.S. Climate Science Special Report. His recent research has been on detecting human influence on regional precipitation and atmospheric circulation trends.

Webinar info:

Event site:

Event number: 478 573 621
Event password: essic
To join the online event
1. Click here to join the online event.

  1. Click “Join Now”.
    To join the audio conference only
    US Toll: +1-415-655-0002
    Global call-in numbers

Access code: 478 573 621
For IT assistance
Cazzy Medley:

Travis Swaim:


May 18 2020


ESSIC Conference Room
5825 University Research Ct, College Park, MD 20740


John Xun Yang