Extreme Precipitation

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CLIMsystems has for many years been devoted to climate change impact and extremes research and practical tool development. We follow IPCC assessment guidance and report conventions. The variables include: sub-daily to multiple day extreme precipitation analysis, daily extreme temperature, wind speed analysis, and CLIMsystems’ extreme analysis.

Among the wide range of climate variables, precipitation extremes have attracted much research attention because of the potential disasters these may cause to human society and natural systems. Extreme precipitation events are projected to increase with climate change, even in areas where the total precipitation is projected to decrease (Meehl et al., 2007; IPCC, 2013), since global warming will noticeably enhance the hydrological cycle at both global and local scales. In order to adequately assess the climate change impact on extreme precipitation events, the characteristics of GCM-simulated precipitation and its relationship with global warming need to be evaluated (Perkins et al., 2007; Alexandra and Arblaster, 2008). The evaluation of observed and modelled trends has shown that the confidence in GCM projected extremes of precipitation is much less than that of temperature (e.g. Kharin et al., 2007; Kiktev et al., 2007). In general, the magnitude of changes in precipitation extremes simulated by GCMs was found to have a linear relationship with the strength of GHG emissions or in proportion with the global warming trend (Alexander and Arblaster, 2009; Tebaldi et al., 2006), which is in line with the linear response theory of pattern scaling (Li and Ye, 2011).

Evidence that extreme rainfall intensity is increasing at the global scale has strengthened considerably in recent years. Research now indicates that the greatest increases are likely to occur in short-duration storms lasting less than a day, potentially leading to an increase in the magnitude and frequency of flash floods (IPCC 2012; Collins et al. 2013; Westra et al., 2014).

References

Westra, S., H. J. Fowler, J. P. Evans, L. V. Alexander, P. Berg, F. Johnson, E. J. Kendon, G. Lenderink, and N. M. Roberts (2014), Future changes to the intensity and frequency of short duration extreme rainfall, Rev. Geophys.,52, 522–555, doi:10.1002/2014RG000464.

IPCC, 2012: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [C. B. Field, V. Baros, T. F. Stocker, D. Qin, D. J. Dokken, K. L. Ebi, M. D. Mastrandrea, K .J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S. K. Allen, M. Tignor and P. M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and New York, NY, USA, 582 pp.

Collins, M., R. Knutti, J. Arblaster, J.-L. Dufresne, T. Fichefet, P. Friedlingstein, X. Gao, W.J. Gutowski, T. Johns, G. Krinner, M. Shongwe, C. Tebaldi, A.J. Weaver and M. Wehner, 2013: Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Li, Y., & Ye, W. (2011). Applicability of ensemble pattern scaling method on precipitation intensity indices at regional scale. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 8(3), 5227-5261. Link: http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/8/5227/2011/hessd-8-5227-2011.pdf