Extreme Events in Climate Model Data

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1 IPCC WORKSHOP 2005 Extreme Events in Climate Model Data What is happening over Europe in the present and in future centuries? Jana Sillmann International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modeling

2 Introduction Temperature distribution IPCC (2001)

3 Introduction Outline What are Extreme Climate Events? Definitions How can we assess Extreme Climate Events? Climate Change Indices for extreme events What can we learn from the present? Model validation What might happen in the future? Changes of climate extremes in the IPCC scenarios

4 Introduction What is an EXTREME Climate Event? Extreme climate events are very severe, rare and intense and determined by their Spatial scale (thunderstorm, River flooding, heat wave) temporal scale (hours, days, weeks, ) Complexity (1 or more variables) Economic and societal losses due to extreme events have increased in the last decades (Munich Re-Insurance)

5 Indices for Extremes How can we assess Extreme Climate Events? Extreme Value Theory (Statistical Modeling) Development of a set of Climate Change Indices with focus on extremes: based on daily maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation data applied to global data to make data comparison easier describe moderate extremes, but robust easily understandable and manageable for impact studies

6 Indices for Extremes INDICES for Extreme Climate Events 5 categories: Percentile-based indices: sample the extreme end of a reference period distribution e.g. 10th or 90th percentile of min./max. temperature 1 st 10 th 50 th 90 th 99 th percentiles Absolute indices: represent maximum or minimum values within a season/year e.g. maximum 5 day precipitation

7 Indices for Extremes INDICES for Extreme Climate Events Threshold indices: number of days on which temperature/precipitation falls above or below a fixed threshold e.g. Frost days (min. Temperature <0 C), days with preciptiation > 10mm Duration indices: define periods of excessive warmth, cold, wetness or dryness e.g. heat wave duration, growing season length, number of consecutive dry days Other which have significant societal impacts e.g. diurnal or inter-annual temperature range, intensity of daily rainfall

8 Indices for Extremes Assessing Extreme Climate Events Various studies of observed station-based temperature and precipitation data have been achieved to asses changes of extreme events in the past century ( ) Problems: data availability and inhomogeneities global daily temperature and precipitation data from General Circulation Models

9 Climate Model and Data Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model ECHAM5/MPI-OM (T63/L31) 20 th century Scenario Period Scenario Period

10 Model Validation Observations and Model Simulations Heat wave duration (ANNUAL) Observation( ) Model ( ) days

11 Model Validation Observations and Model Simulations Heat wave duration (ANNUAL) days spatial mean for Europe years mean 20C ERA40 OBS

12 Model Validation Observations and Model Simulations Total number of frost days (ANNUAL) Observation( ) Model ( ) days

13 Model Validation Observations and Model Simulations Max. number of consecutive dry days (ANNUAL) Observation( ) Model ( ) days

14 Model Validation What has been observed in EUROPE? Most observed trends in recent decades are not significant, but in general there is: a shift in the temperature distribution, where minimum temperature increase faster than maximum temperatures less frost days, more warm nights, more heat waves, longer growing season a shift in the precipitation distribution towards generally wetter conditions with an increase in dry days and an increase in intense precipitation events there are less rain days, but when it rains it is more intense

15 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Heat wave duration (ANNUAL) 160 spatial mean for Europe days mean_a1b mean_b th century 21 st century 22 nd century

16 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Heat wave duration (ANNUAL)

17 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Total number of frost days (ANNUAL) 110 spatial mean for Europe days mean_a1b mean_b1 20 th century 21 st century 22 nd century

18 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Max. number of consecutive dry days (ANNUAL) 75 spatial mean for Europe days mean_a1b mean_b th century 21 st century 22 nd century

19 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Max. number of consecutive dry days (ANNUAL) movie

20 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Max. 5 Day precipitation (ANNUAL) 80 spatial mean for Europe mm mean_a1b mean_b th century 21 st century 22 nd century

21 Scenario Analyses What might happen in the future? Max. 5 Day precipitation (ANNUAL)

22 Summary SUMMARY We have seen: Trends that have been observed in the last decades will continue and intensify in the future scenarios What we can expect: More heat waves and longer drought periods water stress for agriculture, forest fires, higher energy demand for cooling systems, health risks

23 Summary What we can expect: Increase in warm nights changes in energy demand for heating, less night cooling during heat waves Increase in intense precipitation events Risk of flooding, especially after long dry periods in summer, and in winter when soil is already over-saturated with water

24 Summary What makes the analysis of extreme events so difficult: Definition of extreme events regional dependency, validity in the future Rareness of extreme events statistical significance Indices for Extreme Climate events are one way to assess changes in Extremes

25 Thank you! Dresden (Zwinger), August 2002

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