Climate extremes in the CMIP5 data set

  • 24 March 2014
  • Number of views: 4553
Climate extremes in the CMIP5 data set

A paper accepted for publication to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society involved a number of MAPP-funded PIs.

This is the fourth in a series of four articles on historical and projected climate extremes in the United States. The scientists examined the results of historical and future climate model experiments from the 5th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) based on work presented at the World Climate Research Programme Workshop of CMIP5 Climate Model Analyses held in March 2012.

Their analyses assessed the ability of CMIP5 models to capture observed trends and we also evaluate the projected future changes in extreme events over the contiguous U.S. Consistent with the previous articles, they focused on model-simulated historical trends and projections for temperature extremes, heavy precipitation, large-scale drivers of precipitation variability and drought, and extratropical storms.

Comparing new CMIP5 model results with earlier CMIP3 simulations shows that, in general, CMIP5 simulations give similar patterns and magnitudes of future temperature and precipitation extremes in the U.S. relative to the projections from the earlier CMIP3 models. Specifically, projections presented here show significant changes in hot and cold temperature extremes, heavy precipitation, droughts, atmospheric patterns such as the North American Monsoon and the North Atlantic Sub-Tropical High that affect inter-annual precipitation, and in extratropical storms over the 21st century. Most of these trends are consistent with, although in some cases such as heavy precipitation under-estimate, observed trends.

To view the preliminary online release of the article, visit:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00172.1

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