Time of emergence of anthropogenic warming signals in the Northeast Asia assessed from multi-regional climate models

  • Donghyun Lee
  • Seung-Ki Min
  • Changyong Park
  • Myoung-Seok Suh
  • Joong-Bae Ahn
  • Dong-Hyun Cha
  • Dong-Kyou Lee
  • Song-You Hong
  • Seong-Chan Park
  • Hyun-Suk Kang


Time of Emergence (ToE) is the time at which the signal of climate change emerges from the background noise of natural climate variability, and can provide useful information for climate change impacts and adaptations. This study examines future ToEs for daily maximum and minimum temperatures over the Northeast Asia using five Regional Climate Models (RCMs) simulations driven by single Global Climate Model (GCM) under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission scenarios. Noise is defined based on the interannual variability during the present-day period (1981-2010) and warming signals in the future years (2021-2100) are compared against the noise in order to identify ToEs. Results show that ToEs of annual mean temperatures occur between 2030s and 2040s in RCMs, which essentially follow those of the driving GCM. This represents the dominant influence of GCM boundary forcing on RCM results in this region. ToEs of seasonal temperatures exhibit larger ranges from 2030s to 2090s. The seasonality of ToE is found to be determined majorly by noise amplitudes. The earliest ToE appears in autumn when the noise is smallest while the latest ToE occurs in winter when the noise is largest. The RCP4.5 scenario exhibits later emergence years than the RCP8.5 scenario by 5-35 years. The significant delay in ToEs by taking the lower emission scenario provides an important implication for climate change mitigation. Daily minimum temperatures tend to have earlier emergence than daily maximum temperature but with low confidence. It is also found that noise thresholds can strongly affect ToE years, i.e. larger noise threshold induces later emergence, indicating the importance of noise estimation in the ToE assessment.

Key words

Time of emergence regional climate models RCP scenarios Northeast Asia 


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Copyright information

© Korean Meteorological Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donghyun Lee
    • 1
  • Seung-Ki Min
    • 1
    • 9
  • Changyong Park
    • 1
  • Myoung-Seok Suh
    • 2
  • Joong-Bae Ahn
    • 3
  • Dong-Hyun Cha
    • 4
  • Dong-Kyou Lee
    • 5
  • Song-You Hong
    • 6
  • Seong-Chan Park
    • 7
  • Hyun-Suk Kang
    • 8
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangKorea
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric ScienceKongju National UniversityKongjuKorea
  3. 3.Department of Atmospheric SciencesPusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  4. 4.School of Urban and Environmental EngineeringUlsan National Institute of Science and TechnologyUlsanKorea
  5. 5.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  6. 6.Korea Institute of Atmospheric Prediction SystemsSeoulKorea
  7. 7.Korea Meteorological AdministrationSeoulKorea
  8. 8.National Institute of Meteorological SciencesJejuKorea
  9. 9.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangKorea

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