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GEO Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Clara Deser

About the series

Dr. Clara Deser, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO
A Range of Outcomes: The combined effects of internal variability and anthropogenic influences on regional climate trends over North America


Disentangling the effects of internal climate variability and anthropogenic influences on regional climate trends over North America remains a key challenge with far-reaching implications. Due to its largely unpredictable nature on timescales longer than a decade, internal climate variability limits the accuracy of climate model projections, introduces challenges in attributing past climate trends, and complicates climate model evaluation. In this talk, I shall highlight recent advances in Earth System modeling and physical understanding that have led to novel insights on these topics. In particular, I shall synthesize new findings from “Large Ensemble” simulations with Earth system models, analogous large ensembles based on observational records, and a method known as “dynamical adjustment” for uncovering anthropogenic climate change.


Dr. Clara Deser is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research where she leads the Climate Analysis Section. She has spent her career studying global climate variability and change in observations and models, with an emphasis on interactions among the atmosphere, oceans and sea ice.  Recent projects include the role of internal variability in regional climate trends, the effects of projected Arctic sea ice loss on global climate, asymmetries between El Nino and La Nina events, and modes of decadal-multidecadal climate variability in the Atlantic and Pacific. She pioneered the use of Earth System Model Large Ensemble Simulations to elucidate the combined influences of natural and human-induced contributions to climate variability. Deser has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. She received her PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington in 1989, and her B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. She joined NCAR in 1997.

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160 021 9765
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