Understanding Intermodel Diversity When Simulating the Time of Emergence in CMIP5 Climate Models

Seung Hwon Hyun, Sang Wook Yeh, Se Yong Song, Hyo Seok Park, Ben P. Kirtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Using a statistical method, we examined the time of emergence (ToE), which was defined as the year when the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend exceeds the trend explained by internal variability, using 33 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models for 1861–2100. We found that the GMST trend explained by internal variability showed minimal changes even though the GMST trend rapidly increased under the Representative Climate Pathway 8.5 scenario. However, there was large intermodel diversity for the ToEs in CMIP5 climate models. The intensity of Arctic amplification was closely associated with intermodel diversity of the ToEs. A significant difference in the amount of Arctic sea ice extent during the reference period (1861-1910) played a role in determining whether there was slow or fast simulation of the ToE in CMIP5 climate models. We argue that a slow or fast ToE is influenced by how the climate models initially simulate the sea ice extent during the reference period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL087923
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020


  • CMIP5 climate model
  • intermodel diversity
  • sea ice extent
  • time of emergence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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