Global warming projection in the 21st century based on an observational data-driven model

Xubin Zeng, Kerrie Geil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Global warming has been projected primarily by Earth system models (ESMs). Complementary to this approach, here we provide the decadal and long-term global warming projections based on an observational data-driven model. This model combines natural multidecadal variability with anthropogenic warming that depends on the history of annual emissions. It shows good skill in decadal hindcasts with the recent warming slowdown well captured. While our ensemble mean temperature projections at the end of 21st century are consistent with those from ESMs, our decadal warming projection of 0.35 (0.30-0.43) K from 1986–2005 to 2016–2035 is within their projection range and only two-thirds of the ensemble mean from ESMs. Our predicted warming rate in the next few years is slower than in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by a greater warming rate. Our projection uncertainty range is just one-third of that from ESMs, and its implication is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10,947-10,954
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 28 2016


  • decadal hincast
  • decadal prediction
  • global warming projection
  • observation-based model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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