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Tim Osborn: Research

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My research interests and projects can be split into these main categories.

  • Natural climate variability, particularly on decadal and century timescales, in response to natural radiative forcings (such as volcanic [info] and solar variability) as well as generated internally within the climate system (involving, perhaps, variations in the ocean thermohaline circulation [info] or atmospheric variability such as the North Atlantic Oscillation [info] [data] [data update]). My research includes the reconstruction of past climate variability using climate proxy records, such as tree-ring chronologies [data]. The main focus has been on reconstructing temperature variations over the most recent centuries and millennia [info]. I also use simulations of climate variability using simple and complex (general circulation) models [info] of the atmosphere and/or the oceans. The combination of proxy climate observations with climate model simulations is essential for testing the ability of climate models to simulate long-term changes in climate as well as for attributing the causes of past cimate variability to specific forcings or mechanisms [project SO&P].

  • Climate variations and changes during the 20th century as recorded by instrumental observations and satellite remote sensing. I have diagnosed changes in precipitation intensity and extremes [info] in the UK, and analysed errors and variability in the global temperature record [info] [data].

  • Evaluation of the ability of climate models to realistically simulate climate variations, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation [info], daily weather types and air flow indices, and the structure of precipitation variability.

  • Identification of possible future climate changes by diagnosing changes simulated by climate models forced by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases [info]. Two specific targets of analysis have been the North Atlantic Oscillation [info], and future precipitation change (focussing particularly on meteorological drought and changes in inter-annual variability or precipitation).
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