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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-4
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-4
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Weather extremes over Europe under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming from HAPPI regional climate ensemble simulations

Kevin Sieck, Christine Nam, Laurens M. Bouwer, Diana Rechid, and Daniela Jacob Kevin Sieck et al.
  • Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Hamburg, 20095, Germany

Abstract. This paper presents a novel data set of regional climate model simulations over Europe that significantly improves our ability to detect changes in weather extremes under low and moderate levels of global warming. The data set provides a unique and physically consistent data set, as it is derived from a large ensemble of regional climate model simulations. These simulations were driven by two global climate models from the international HAPPI consortium. The set consists of 100 × 10-year simulations and 25 × 10-year simulations, respectively. These large ensembles allow for regional climate change and weather extremes to be investigated with an improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to previous climate simulations. The changes in four climate indices for temperature targets of 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming are quantified: number of days per year with daily mean near-surface apparent temperature of > 28 °C (ATG28); the yearly maximum 5-day sum of precipitation (RX5day); the daily precipitation intensity of the 50-yr return period (RI50yr); and the annual Consecutive Dry Days (CDD). This work shows that even for a small signal in projected global mean temperature, changes of extreme temperature and precipitation indices can be robustly estimated. For temperature related indices changes in percentiles can also be estimated with high confidence. Such data can form the basis for tailor-made climate information that can aid adaptive measures at a policy-relevant scales, indicating potential impacts at low levels of global warming at steps of 0.5 °C.

Kevin Sieck et al.

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Kevin Sieck et al.

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Latest update: 31 Mar 2020
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Short summary
This paper presents new estimates of future extreme weather in Europe, including extreme heat, extreme rainfall and rainfall drought. These new estimates were achieved by repeating model calculations many times, thereby reducing uncertainties of these rare events at low levels of global warming at 1.5 and 2 degrees above pre-industrial temperature levels. These results are important, as they help to discover which weather extremes could increase at moderate warming levels, and where this occurs.
This paper presents new estimates of future extreme weather in Europe, including extreme heat,...
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