Workshop Peter Cox UU

As part of his NESSC visit (via the visiting scholar program) to Wageningen University, Professor Peter Cox will give a workshop at Utrecht University (Uithof) on Friday the 15th of September.

The workshop:

Emergent Constraints are a way to use observations of present or past climate, along with an ensemble of climate model projections, to improve predictions of climate change.  The approach relies on finding a robust relationship between an observation (or proxy) of climate, such as a mean-state, trend or variation, and an aspect of future climate as projected with climate models. Professor Peter Cox has published a number of Emergent Constraints on the response of the land and ocean biosphere to climate change, and is amongst the most prominent experts on the technique. In this workshop, he will explain the basic concept and illustrate with published examples. Participants will have an opportunity to explore existing Emergent Constraints (using simple software provided), or to search for new relationships using their own data. In the latter case, Prof Cox ( would be happy to advise on the most appropriate comparisons to make to model projections


1030-1100 Welcome/Coffee

1100-1115 Roundtable introductions (participants)

1115-1145 Example Emergent Constraints (Prof Peter Cox)

1145-1200 Q&A

1200-1240 Lunch

1240-1310 The Emergent Constraint Technique

1310-1410 Students work on their own data

1410-1510 Students present provisional results/problems

1510-1540 Discussion & wrap-up

1540 Walk to the van Koningsberger building for the FEST lecture

1600 FEST lecture bij Peter Cox*

If you are interested to attend this day please let us know via

The workshop will be held in the van Unnik building – room 201

*Abstract FEST Lecture:
Emergent Constraints on Future Climate Change

Earth System Models (ESMs) are designed to project changes in the climate-carbon cycle system over the coming centuries. These models agree that the climate will change significantly under feasible scenarios of future CO2 emissions. However, model projections still cover a wide-range for any given emissions scenario, which arises from uncertainties in the representation of key feedbacks, and impedes progress on tackling climate change. This seminar will present a promising new approach to reduce the continuing uncertainties in climate projections. Emergent Constraints use the full range of model behaviours to find relationships between measureable aspects of present and past climates, and future climate projections. This seminar will present examples of recently published Emergent Constraints on the response of the biosphere to climate change, and explain why the Emergent Constraint method has such huge potential to provide improved projections of future climate change, by optimally using models and observations together.