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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY Int. J. Climatol. 29: 417435 (2009)

Int. J. Climatol. 29: 417435 (2009)
Published online 21 July 2008 in Wiley InterScience
(www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/joc.1730
Assessing trends in observed and modelled climate extremes
over Australia in relation to future projections
Lisa V. Alexandera,b* and Julie M. Arblasterc,d,e
a School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
b Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
c School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
d National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
e Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
ABSTRACT: Multiple simulations from nine globally coupled climate models were assessed for their ability to reproduce
observed trends in a set of indices representing temperature and precipitation extremes over Australia. Observed trends over
the period 19571999 were compared with individual and multi-modelled trends calculated over the same period. When
averaged across Australia, the magnitude of trends and interannual variability of temperature extremes were well simulated
by most models, particularly for the index for warm nights. The majority of models also reproduced the correct sign of trend
for precipitation extremes although there was much more variation between the individual model runs. A bootstrapping
technique was used to calculate uncertainty estimates and also to verify that most model runs produce plausible trends
when averaged over Australia. Although very few showed significant skill at reproducing the observed spatial pattern of


Source: Arblaster, Julie - Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Climate Change Research Section


Collections: Geosciences