Expected impacts of climate change on extreme climate events

Abstract : An overview of the expected change of climate extremes during this century due to greenhouse gases and aerosol anthropogenic emissions is presented. The most commonly used methodologies rely on the dynamical or statistical downscaling of climate projections, performed with coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models. Either of dynamical or of statistical type, downscaling methods present strengths and weaknesses, but neither their validation on present climate conditions, nor their potential ability to project the impact of climate change on extreme event statistics allows one to give a specific advantage to one of the two types. The results synthesized in the last IPCC report and more recent studies underline a convergence for a very likely increase in heat wave episodes over land surfaces, linked to the mean warming and the increase in temperature variability. In addition, the number of days of frost should decrease and the growing season length should increase. The projected increase in heavy precipitation events appears also as very likely over most areas and also seems linked to a change in the shape of the precipitation intensity distribution. The global trends for drought duration are less consistent between models and downscaling methodologies, due to their regional variability. The change of wind-related extremes is also regionally dependent, and associated to a poleward displacement of the midlatitude storm tracks. The specific study of extreme events over France reveals the high sensitivity of some statistics of climate extremes at the decadal time scale as a consequence of regional climate internal variability.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 24, 2008 - 7:23:51 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:14:08 PM

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Serge Planton, Michel Déqué, Fabrice Chauvin, Laurent Terray. Expected impacts of climate change on extreme climate events. Comptes Rendus Géoscience, Elsevier Masson, 2008, 340, pp.PP. 564-574. ⟨meteo-00341277⟩

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