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Concept: Projection


Climate models provide the principal means of projecting global warming over the remainder of the twenty-first century but modelled estimates of warming vary by a factor of approximately two even under the same radiative forcing scenarios. Across-model relationships between currently observable attributes of the climate system and the simulated magnitude of future warming have the potential to inform projections. Here we show that robust across-model relationships exist between the global spatial patterns of several fundamental attributes of Earth’s top-of-atmosphere energy budget and the magnitude of projected global warming. When we constrain the model projections with observations, we obtain greater means and narrower ranges of future global warming across the major radiative forcing scenarios, in general. In particular, we find that the observationally informed warming projection for the end of the twenty-first century for the steepest radiative forcing scenario is about 15 per cent warmer (+0.5 degrees Celsius) with a reduction of about a third in the two-standard-deviation spread (-1.2 degrees Celsius) relative to the raw model projections reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our results suggest that achieving any given global temperature stabilization target will require steeper greenhouse gas emissions reductions than previously calculated.

Concepts: Earth, Precipitation, Climate, Climate change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Greenhouse gas, Global warming, Projection


Weather extremes have harmful impacts on communities around Lake Victoria, where thousands of fishermen die every year because of intense night-time thunderstorms. Yet how these thunderstorms will evolve in a future warmer climate is still unknown. Here we show that Lake Victoria is projected to be a hotspot of future extreme precipitation intensification by using new satellite-based observations, a high-resolution climate projection for the African Great Lakes and coarser-scale ensemble projections. Land precipitation on the previous day exerts a control on night-time occurrence of extremes on the lake by enhancing atmospheric convergence (74%) and moisture availability (26%). The future increase in extremes over Lake Victoria is about twice as large relative to surrounding land under a high-emission scenario, as only over-lake moisture advection is high enough to sustain Clausius-Clapeyron scaling. Our results highlight a major hazard associated with climate change over East Africa and underline the need for high-resolution projections to assess local climate change.

Concepts: Precipitation, Climate, Weather, Storm, Thunderstorm, Tanzania, Projection, Lake Victoria


We conducted a model-based assessment of changes in permafrost area and carbon storage for simulations driven by RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 projections between 2010 and 2299 for the northern permafrost region. All models simulating carbon represented soil with depth, a critical structural feature needed to represent the permafrost carbon-climate feedback, but that is not a universal feature of all climate models. Between 2010 and 2299, simulations indicated losses of permafrost between 3 and 5 million km2for the RCP4.5 climate and between 6 and 16 million km2for the RCP8.5 climate. For the RCP4.5 projection, cumulative change in soil carbon varied between 66-Pg C (1015-g carbon) loss to 70-Pg C gain. For the RCP8.5 projection, losses in soil carbon varied between 74 and 652 Pg C (mean loss, 341 Pg C). For the RCP4.5 projection, gains in vegetation carbon were largely responsible for the overall projected net gains in ecosystem carbon by 2299 (8- to 244-Pg C gains). In contrast, for the RCP8.5 projection, gains in vegetation carbon were not great enough to compensate for the losses of carbon projected by four of the five models; changes in ecosystem carbon ranged from a 641-Pg C loss to a 167-Pg C gain (mean, 208-Pg C loss). The models indicate that substantial net losses of ecosystem carbon would not occur until after 2100. This assessment suggests that effective mitigation efforts during the remainder of this century could attenuate the negative consequences of the permafrost carbon-climate feedback.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Climate, Soil, Ecosystem, Climate change, Remainder, Global warming, Projection


Health spending growth in the United States is projected to average 5.8 percent for 2014-24, reflecting the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, faster economic growth, and population aging. Recent historically low growth rates in the use of medical goods and services, as well as medical prices, are expected to gradually increase. However, in part because of the impact of continued cost-sharing increases that are anticipated among health plans, the acceleration of these growth rates is expected to be modest. The health share of US gross domestic product is projected to rise from 17.4 percent in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2024.

Concepts: Health care, Demography, Population, United States, Economics, Gross domestic product, Economic growth, Projection


Many neurons in the central auditory pathway, from the inferior colliculus (IC) to the auditory cortex (AC), respond less strongly to a commonly occurring stimulus than one that rarely occurs. The origin of this phenomenon, called stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA), remains uncertain. The AC sends descending projections to the IC that terminate most densely upon the dorsal, lateral and rostral IC cortices - areas where strong SSA has been reported. To investigate whether SSA in the IC is dependent upon the AC for its generation, we recorded the response from single IC neurons to stimuli presented in an oddball paradigm before, during and after reversibly deactivating the ipsilateral AC with a cryoloop. While changes in the basic response properties of the IC neurons were widespread (89%), changes in SSA sensitivity were less common; approximately half of the neurons recorded showed a significant change in SSA, while the other half remained unchanged. Changes in SSA could be in either direction: 18% enhanced their SSA sensitivity, while 34% showed reduced SSA sensitivity. For the majority of this latter group, cortical deactivation reduced, but did not eliminate, significant SSA levels. Only eight neurons seemed to inherit SSA from the AC, as their pre-existing significant level of SSA became non-significant during cortical deactivation. Thus, the presence of SSA in the IC is generally not dependent upon the corticocollicular projection, suggesting the AC is not essential for the generation of subcortical SSA; however, the AC may play a role in the modulation of subcortical SSA.

Concepts: Brain, Cerebral cortex, Auditory system, Anatomical terms of location, Thalamus, Superior colliculus, Projection, Inferior colliculus


In single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), multi-pinhole collimation is often employed nowadays. Most multi-pinhole collimators avoid overlap (multiplexing) of the projections on the detector. This can be done by using additional shielding or by spacing the pinholes far enough apart. Using additional shielding has the drawback that it increases weight, design complexity and cost. Spacing the pinholes far enough apart results in sub-optimal detector usage, the valuable detector area is not entirely used. This is due to the circular projections of pinholes on the detector; these ellipses can not be tiled with high detector coverage. To overcome this we designed a new pinhole geometry, the lofthole, that has a rectangular projection on the detector. The lofthole has a circular aperture and a rectangular entrance/exit opening. Sensitivity formulae have been derived for pinholes and loftholes. These formulae take the penumbra effect into account; the proposed formulae do not take penetration into account. The derived formulae are valid for geometries where the field-of-view and the sensitivity of the aperture are solely limited by the exit window. A flood map measurement was performed to compare the rectangular projection of a lofthole with the circular projection of a pinhole. Finally, measurements were done to compare the amount of penetration of pinholes with the amount of penetration of a lofthole. A square lofthole collimator has less penetration than a knife-edge pinhole collimator that irradiates the same rectangular detector area with full coverage. A multi-lofthole collimator allows high detector coverage without using additional shielding. An additional advantage is the lower amount of penetration.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Single photon emission computed tomography, Area, Projection, Square, Collimator, Map projection, Pinhole camera


Under current law, national health expenditures are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent for 2016-25 and represent 19.9 percent of gross domestic product by 2025. For 2016, national health expenditure growth is anticipated to have slowed 1.1 percentage points to 4.8 percent, as a result of slower Medicaid and prescription drug spending growth. For the rest of the projection period, faster projected growth in medical prices is partly offset by slower projected growth in the use and intensity of medical goods and services, relative to that observed in 2014-16 associated with the Affordable Care Act coverage expansions. The insured share of the population is projected to increase from 90.9 percent in 2015 to 91.5 percent by 2025.

Concepts: Health care, Pharmacology, Health insurance, Economics, Cost, Price, Projection, Fischer projection


Observed temperature extremes over the continental United States can be represented by the ratio of daily record high temperatures to daily record low minimum temperatures, and this ratio has increased to a value of about 2 to 1, averaged over the first decade of the 21st century, albeit with large interannual variability. Two different versions of a global coupled climate model (CCSM4), as well as 23 other coupled model intercomparison project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, show larger values of this ratio than observations, mainly as a result of greater numbers of record highs since the 1980s compared with observations. This is partly because of the “warm 1930s” in the observations, which made it more difficult to set record highs later in the century, and partly because of a trend toward less rainfall and reduced evapotranspiration in the model versions compared with observations. We compute future projections of this ratio on the basis of its estimated dependence on mean temperature increase, which we find robustly at play in both observations and simulations. The use of this relation also has the advantage of removing dependence of a projection on a specific scenario. An empirical projection of the ratio of record highs to record lows is obtained from the nonlinear relationship in observations from 1930 to 2015, thus correcting downward the likely biased future projections of the model. For example, for a 3 °C warming in US temperatures, the ratio of record highs to lows is projected to be ∼15 ± 8 compared to the present average ratio of just over 2.

Concepts: Present, Time, Scientific method, Temperature, Ratio, 21st century, Projection, Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project


The marked increase in infants born with microcephaly in Brazil after a 2015 outbreak of Zika virus (Zika virus) disease suggests an association between maternal Zika virus infection and congenital microcephaly. To project the timing of delivery of infants born to mothers infected during early pregnancy in 1 city in Bahia State, Brazil, we incorporated data on reported Zika virus disease cases and microcephaly cases into a graphical schematic of weekly birth cohorts. We projected that these births would occur through February 2016. Applying similar projections to a hypothetical location at which Zika virus transmission started in November, we projected that full-term infants at risk for Zika virus infection would be born during April-September 2016. We also developed a modifiable spreadsheet tool that public health officials and researchers can use for their countries to plan for deliveries of infants to women who were infected with Zika virus during different pregnancy trimesters.

Concepts: Childbirth, Epidemiology, Infection, Projection, Outbreak, Fischer projection, 2016, 2015


Background:Typically, lifetime risk is calculated by the period method using current risks at different ages. Here, we estimate the probability of being diagnosed with cancer for individuals born in a given year, by estimating future risks as the cohort ages.Methods:We estimated the lifetime risk of cancer in Britain separately for men and women born in each year from 1930 to 1960. We projected rates of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and of all cancer deaths forwards using a flexible age-period-cohort model and backwards using age-specific extrapolation. The sensitivity of the estimated lifetime risk to the method of projection was explored.Results:The lifetime risk of cancer increased from 38.5% for men born in 1930 to 53.5% for men born in 1960. For women it increased from 36.7 to 47.5%. Results are robust to different models for projections of cancer rates.Conclusions:The lifetime risk of cancer for people born since 1960 is >50%. Over half of people who are currently adults under the age of 65 years will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.British Journal of Cancer (2014) advance online publication, 3 February 2015; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.606

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Approximation, Estimation, Projection