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Title: A Projection of Changes in Landfilling Atmospheric River Frequency and Extreme Precipitation over Western North America from the Large Ensemble CESM Simulations

Simulations from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble project are analyzed to investigate the impact of global warming on atmospheric rivers (ARs). The model has notable biases in simulating the subtropical jet position and the relationship between extreme precipitation and moisture transport. After accounting for these biases, the model projects an ensemble mean increase of 35% in the number of landfalling AR days between the last twenty years of the 20th and 21st centuries. However, the number of AR associated extreme precipitation days increases only by 28% because the moisture transport required to produce extreme precipitation also increases with warming. Internal variability introduces an uncertainty of ±8% and ±7% in the projected changes in AR days and associated extreme precipitation days. In contrast, accountings for model biases only change the projected changes by about 1%. The significantly larger mean changes compared to internal variability and to the effects of model biases highlight the robustness of AR responses to global warming.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276; KP1703010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geophysical Research Letters; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 3
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States