Future Risk of Record-Breaking Summer Temperatures and its Mitigation

TitleFuture Risk of Record-Breaking Summer Temperatures and its Mitigation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLehner, Flavio, Deser Clara, and Sanderson Benjamin M.
JournalClimatic Change
Volume146
Number3-4
Pages363-375
Date Published02/2016
Abstract / Summary

The probability that summer temperatures in the future will exceed the hottest on record during 1920–2014 is projected to increase at all land locations with global warming. Within the BRACE project framework, we investigate the sensitivity of this projected change in probability to the choice of emissions scenario using two large ensembles of simulations with the Community Earth System Model. The large ensemble size allows for a robust assessment of the probability of record-breaking temperatures. Globally, the probability that any summer during the period 2061–2081 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80% for RCP 8.5 and 41% for RCP 4.5. Hence, mitigation can reduce the risk of record-breaking temperatures by 39%. The potential for risk reduction is greatest for some of the most populated regions of the globe. In Europe, for example, a potential risk reduction of over 50% is projected. Model biases and future changes in temperature variance have only minor effects on the results, as their contribution stays well below 10% for almost all locations.

URLhttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-016-1616-2
DOI10.1007/s10584-016-1616-2
Journal: Climatic Change
Year of Publication: 2016
Volume: 146
Number: 3-4
Pages: 363-375
Date Published: 02/2016

The probability that summer temperatures in the future will exceed the hottest on record during 1920–2014 is projected to increase at all land locations with global warming. Within the BRACE project framework, we investigate the sensitivity of this projected change in probability to the choice of emissions scenario using two large ensembles of simulations with the Community Earth System Model. The large ensemble size allows for a robust assessment of the probability of record-breaking temperatures. Globally, the probability that any summer during the period 2061–2081 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80% for RCP 8.5 and 41% for RCP 4.5. Hence, mitigation can reduce the risk of record-breaking temperatures by 39%. The potential for risk reduction is greatest for some of the most populated regions of the globe. In Europe, for example, a potential risk reduction of over 50% is projected. Model biases and future changes in temperature variance have only minor effects on the results, as their contribution stays well below 10% for almost all locations.

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1616-2
Citation:
Lehner, F, C Deser, and BM Sanderson.  2016.  "Future Risk of Record-Breaking Summer Temperatures and its Mitigation."  Climatic Change 146(3-4): 363-375.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1616-2.