28 February 2019

Changes in a Suite of Indicators of Extreme Temperature and Precipitation Under 1.5 and 2 Degrees Warming

Science

We analyze significant future changes in a number of extremes of temperature and precipitation under the low-warming scenarios motivated by the Paris targets. 

Impact

Taking advantage of a suite of ensemble simulations targeting the warming levels of 1.5 and 2 degrees, we analyze changes in extremes of temperature and precipitation along the 21st century, determining which indicators show significant changes, and how different these changes are between the two warming levels. We use 10 indices established by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices. We find pervasive significant changes, and differential impacts between scenarios, for all temperature-related indices; while precipitation intensity shows noisier results,  even for those indicators regions of significant changes surface by the end of the century. 

Summary

Extremes change significantly even under low warming scenarios, and half a degree difference in global average temperature implies significant differences in temperature extremes all over the globe; significant differences in precipitation intensity are seen in many regions if not as pervasively, especially at the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

Contact
Claudia Tebaldi
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Publications
Aerenson, T, C Tebaldi, B Sanderson, and J Lamarque.  2018.  "Changes in a Suite of Indicators of Extreme Temperature and Precipitation Under 1.5 and 2 Degrees Warming."  Environmental Research Letters 13(3): 035009, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aaafd6.