Climatic Change

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 239–265

Climate Change Prediction


DOI: 10.1007/s10584-005-6857-4

Cite this article as:
Giorgi, F. Climatic Change (2005) 73: 239. doi:10.1007/s10584-005-6857-4


The concept of climate change prediction in response to anthropogenic forcings at multi-decadal time scales is reviewed. This is identified as a predictability problem with characteristics of both first kind and second kind (due to the slow components of the climate system). It is argued that, because of the non-linear and stochastic aspects of the climate system and of the anthropogenic and natural forcings, climate change contains an intrinsic level of uncertainty. As a result, climate change prediction needs to be approached in a probabilistic way. This requires a characterization and quantification of the uncertainties associated with the sequence of steps involved in a climate change prediction. A review is presented of different approaches recently proposed to produce probabilistic climate change predictions. The additional difficulties found when extending the prediction from the global to the regional scale and the implications that these have on the choice of prediction strategy are finally discussed.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly