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Sarah J. Doherty
,
Stephan Bojinski
,
Ann Henderson-Sellers
,
Kevin Noone
,
David Goodrich
,
Nathaniel L. Bindoff
,
John A. Church
,
Kathy A. Hibbard
,
Thomas R. Karl
,
Lucka Kajfez-Bogataj
,
Amanda H. Lynch
,
David E. Parker
,
I. Colin Prentice
,
Venkatachalam Ramaswamy
,
Roger W. Saunders
,
Mark Stafford Smith
,
Konrad Steffen
,
Thomas F. Stocker
,
Peter W. Thorne
,
Kevin E. Trenberth
,
Michel M. Verstraete
, and
Francis W. Zwiers

The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global warming is “unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, with discernible human influences on ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes, wind patterns, and other physical and biological indicators, impacting both socioeconomic and ecological systems. It is now clear that we are committed to some level of global climate change, and it is imperative that this be considered when planning future climate research and observational strategies. The Global Climate Observing System program (GCOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) therefore initiated a process to summarize the lessons learned through AR4 Working Groups I and II and to identify a set of high-priority modeling and observational needs. Two classes of recommendations emerged. First is the need to improve climate models, observational and climate monitoring systems, and our understanding of key processes. Second, the framework for climate research and observations must be extended to document impacts and to guide adaptation and mitigation efforts. Research and observational strategies specifically aimed at improving our ability to predict and understand impacts, adaptive capacity, and societal and ecosystem vulnerabilities will serve both purposes and are the subject of the specific recommendations made in this paper.

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Nick A. Rayner
,
Renate Auchmann
,
Janette Bessembinder
,
Stefan Brönnimann
,
Yuri Brugnara
,
Francesco Capponi
,
Laura Carrea
,
Emma M. A. Dodd
,
Darren Ghent
,
Elizabeth Good
,
Jacob L. Høyer
,
John J. Kennedy
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Rachel E. Killick
,
Paul van der Linden
,
Finn Lindgren
,
Kristine S. Madsen
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Joel R. Mitchelson
,
Colin P. Morice
,
Pia Nielsen-Englyst
,
Patricio F. Ortiz
,
John J. Remedios
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Antonello A. Squintu
,
Ag Stephens
,
Peter W. Thorne
,
Rasmus T. Tonboe
,
Tim Trent
,
Karen L. Veal
,
Alison M. Waterfall
,
Kate Winfield
,
Jonathan Winn
, and
R. Iestyn Woolway

Abstract

Day-to-day variations in surface air temperature affect society in many ways, but daily surface air temperature measurements are not available everywhere. Therefore, a global daily picture cannot be achieved with measurements made in situ alone and needs to incorporate estimates from satellite retrievals. This article presents the science developed in the EU Horizon 2020–funded EUSTACE project (2015–19, www.eustaceproject.org) to produce global and European multidecadal ensembles of daily analyses of surface air temperature complementary to those from dynamical reanalyses, integrating different ground-based and satellite-borne data types. Relationships between surface air temperature measurements and satellite-based estimates of surface skin temperature over all surfaces of Earth (land, ocean, ice, and lakes) are quantified. Information contained in the satellite retrievals then helps to estimate air temperature and create global fields in the past, using statistical models of how surface air temperature varies in a connected way from place to place; this needs efficient statistical analysis methods to cope with the considerable data volumes. Daily fields are presented as ensembles to enable propagation of uncertainties through applications. Estimated temperatures and their uncertainties are evaluated against independent measurements and other surface temperature datasets. Achievements in the EUSTACE project have also included fundamental preparatory work useful to others, for example, gathering user requirements, identifying inhomogeneities in daily surface air temperature measurement series from weather stations, carefully quantifying uncertainties in satellite skin and air temperature estimates, exploring the interaction between air temperature and lakes, developing statistical models relevant to non-Gaussian variables, and methods for efficient computation.

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