Widespread changes in surface temperature persistence under climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change has been and will be accompanied by widespread changes in surface temperature. It is clear that these changes include global-wide increases in mean surface temperature and changes in temperature variance that are more regionally-dependent1–3. It is less clear whether they also include changes in the persistence of surface temperature. This is important as the effects of weather events on ecosystems and society depend critically on the length of the event. Here we provide an extensive survey of the response of surface temperature persistence to climate change over the twenty-first century from the output of 150 simulations run on four different Earth system models, and from simulations run on simplified models with varying representations of radiative processes and large-scale dynamics. Together, the results indicate that climate change simulations are marked by widespread changes in surface temperature persistence that are generally most robust over ocean areas and arise due to a seemingly broad range of physical processes. The findings point to both the robustness of widespread changes in persistence under climate change, and the critical need to better understand, simulate and constrain such changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
Issue number7885
Early online date17 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2021

Cite this