AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

New research – extreme weather (September 7, 2016)

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 7, 2016

Some of the latest papers on extreme weather are shown below. First a few highlighted papers with abstracts and then a list of some other papers. If this subject interests you, be sure to check also the other papers – they are by no means less interesting than the highlighted ones.


High-income does not protect against hurricane losses (Geiger et al. 2016)

Abstract: Damage due to tropical cyclones accounts for more than 50% of all meteorologically-induced economic losses worldwide. Their nominal impact is projected to increase substantially as the exposed population grows, per capita income increases, and anthropogenic climate change manifests. So far, historical losses due to tropical cyclones have been found to increase less than linearly with a nation’s affected gross domestic product (GDP). Here we show that for the United States this scaling is caused by a sub-linear increase with affected population while relative losses scale super-linearly with per capita income. The finding is robust across a multitude of empirically derived damage models that link the storm’s wind speed, exposed population, and per capita GDP to reported losses. The separation of both socio-economic predictors strongly affects the projection of potential future hurricane losses. Separating the effects of growth in population and per-capita income, per hurricane losses with respect to national GDP are projected to triple by the end of the century under unmitigated climate change, while they are estimated to decrease slightly without the separation.

A Review of Recent Advances in Research on Extreme Heat Events (Horton et al. 2016)

Abstract: Reviewing recent literature, we report that changes in extreme heat event characteristics such as magnitude, frequency, and duration are highly sensitive to changes in mean global-scale warming. Numerous studies have detected significant changes in the observed occurrence of extreme heat events, irrespective of how such events are defined. Further, a number of these studies have attributed present-day changes in the risk of individual heat events and the documented global-scale increase in such events to anthropogenic-driven warming. Advances in process-based studies of heat events have focused on the proximate land-atmosphere interactions through soil moisture anomalies, and changes in occurrence of the underlying atmospheric circulation associated with heat events in the midlatitudes. While evidence for a number of hypotheses remains limited, climate change nevertheless points to tail risks of possible changes in heat extremes that could exceed estimates generated from model outputs of mean temperature. We also explore risks associated with compound extreme events and nonlinear impacts associated with extreme heat.

Northern Hemisphere winter storm track trends since 1959 derived from multiple reanalysis datasets (Chang & Yau, 2016)

Abstract: In this study, a comprehensive comparison of Northern Hemisphere winter storm track trend since 1959 derived from multiple reanalysis datasets and rawinsonde observations has been conducted. In addition, trends in terms of variance and cyclone track statistics have been compared. Previous studies, based largely on the National Center for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis (NNR), have suggested that both the Pacific and Atlantic storm tracks have significantly intensified between the 1950s and 1990s. Comparison with trends derived from rawinsonde observations suggest that the trends derived from NNR are significantly biased high, while those from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts 40-year Reanalysis and the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis are much less biased but still too high. Those from the two twentieth century reanalysis datasets are most consistent with observations but may exhibit slight biases of opposite signs. Between 1959 and 2010, Pacific storm track activity has likely increased by 10 % or more, while Atlantic storm track activity has likely increased by <10 %. Our analysis suggests that trends in Pacific and Atlantic basin wide storm track activity prior to the 1950s derived from the two twentieth century reanalysis datasets are unlikely to be reliable due to changes in density of surface observations. Nevertheless, these datasets may provide useful information on interannual variability, especially over the Atlantic.

Landslides in a changing climate (Gariano & Guzzetti, 2016)

Abstract: Warming of the Earth climate system is unequivocal. That climate changes affect the stability of natural and engineered slopes and have consequences on landslides, is also undisputable. Less clear is the type, extent, magnitude and direction of the changes in the stability conditions, and on the location, abundance, activity and frequency of landslides in response to the projected climate changes. Climate and landslides act at only partially overlapping spatial and temporal scales, complicating the evaluation of the climate impacts on landslides. We review the literature on landslide-climate studies, and find a bias in their geographical distribution, with large parts of the world not investigated. We recommend to fill the gap with new studies in Asia, South America, and Africa. We examine advantages and limits of the approaches adopted to evaluate the effects of climate variations on landslides, including prospective modelling and retrospective methods that use landslide and climate records. We consider changes in temperature, precipitation, wind and weather systems, and their direct and indirect effects on the stability of single slopes, and we use a probabilistic landslide hazard model to appraise regional landslide changes. Our review indicates that the modelling results of landslide-climate studies depend more on the emission scenarios, the Global Circulation Models, and the methods to downscale the climate variables, than on the description of the variables controlling slope processes. We advocate for constructing ensembles of projections based on a range of emissions scenarios, and to use carefully results from worst-case scenarios that may over/under-estimate landslide hazards and risk. We further advocate that uncertainties in the landslide projections must be quantified and communicated to decision makers and the public. We perform a preliminary global assessment of the future landslide impact, and we present a global map of the projected impact of climate change on landslide activity and abundance. Where global warming is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of severe rainfall events, a primary trigger of rapid-moving landslides that cause many landslide fatalities, we predict an increase in the number of people exposed to landslide risk. Finally, we give recommendations for landslide adaptation and risk reduction strategies in the framework of a warming climate.

An interdecadal shift in the number of hot nights around 1997 over Eastern China (Chen et al. 2016)

Abstract: In this study, we investigate the interdecadal variation in summer nighttime hot extremes over eastern China using observational daily minimum temperature during 1979–2013. Results show a statistically significant shift in the number of hot nights (NHN) around 1997 with averaged NHN over eastern China of 6 days more during 1997–2013 than 1979–1996. The time series of the first leading Empirical Orthogonal Function mode of the NHN is closely related with sea surface temperature anomalies over the tropical western pacific warm pool, Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which all experienced substantial interdecadal changes in the late 1990s. Other factors such as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects may also contribute to the interdecadal change of the NHN around 1997.

Other papers

Intensification of landfalling typhoons over the northwest Pacific since the late 1970s (Mei & Xie, 2016)

Increased drought and pluvial risk over California due to changing oceanic conditions (Kam & Sheffield, 2016)

Comparing hurricane and extratropical storm surge for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coast of the United States for 1979–2013 (Booth et al. 2016)

Storm track processes and the opposing influences of climate change (Shaw et al. 2016)

Can reanalysis datasets describe the persistent temperature and precipitation extremes over China? (Zhu et al. 2016)

Exceptionally extreme drought in Madeira Archipelago in 2012: Vegetation impacts and driving conditions (Liberato et al. 2016)

An independent assessment of anthropogenic attribution statements for recent extreme temperature and rainfall events (Angélil et al. 2016)

Future hurricane storm surge risk for the U.S. gulf and Florida coasts based on projections of thermodynamic potential intensity (Balaguru et al. 2016)

Evaluation of downscaled wind speeds and parameterised gusts for recent and historical windstorms in Switzerland (Stucki et al. 2016)

The Record-Breaking 2015 Hurricane Season in the eastern North Pacific: An Analysis of Environmental Conditions (Collins et al. 2016)

Centennial drought outlook over the CONUS using NASA-NEX downscaled climate ensemble (Ahmadalipour et al. 2016)

Compounding factors causing the unusual absence of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific during August 2014 (Hong et al. 2016)

Synoptic climatology of the early 21st century drought in the Colorado River Basin and relationships to reservoir water levels (Kirk et al. 2016)

The challenge of accurately quantifying future megadrought risk in the American Southwest (Coats & Mankin, 2016)

Will Global Warming Make Hurricane Forecasting More Difficult? (Emanuel, 2016)

A comparison of heat wave climatologies and trends in China based on multiple definitions (You et al. 2016)

Diagnosing United States hurricane landfall risk: An alternative to count-based methodologies (Staehling & Truchelut, 2016)

Spatial and temporal analysis of the drought vulnerability and risks over eight decades in a semi-arid region (Tensift basin: Morocco) (Fniguire et al. 2016)

Distinct weekly cycles of thunderstorms and a potential connection with aerosol type in China (Yang et al. 2016)

Trends and variability in droughts in the Pacific Islands and northeast Australia (McGree et al. 2016)

Spatial and temporal variations of blowing dust events in the Taklimakan Desert (Yang et al. 2016)

My Drought is Different from Your Drought: A Case Study of the Policy Implications of Multiple Ways of Knowing Drought (Kohl & Knox, 2016)

Selected physical parameters as determinants of flood fatalities in Bangladesh, 1972–2013 (Paul et al. 2016)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: