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Title: Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms

Abstract

Global climate models project that extreme precipitation events will increase in intensity during the 21st century at large spatial scales, with several studies suggesting that the most extreme events will exhibit the highest rate of intensification. The identification of the causes of this phenomenon nevertheless remains tenuous, in part because some studies have used methods that may not be appropriate for diagnosing long-term changes in intensity. Using a large ensemble of North American regional climate simulations, we confirm statistical evidence that intensification occurs more rapidly with warming for more extreme events of hourly-to-daily durations at finer regional scales. The larger increases in more extreme events are found to be primarily due to atmospheric circulation changes. Thermodynamically induced changes are found to have relatively uniform effects across extreme events and regions. In contrast, dynamical changes that are reflected in vertical velocity weaken moderate precipitation events over western interior regions of North America, and enhance them elsewhere. The weakening effect decreases and even reverses for more extreme precipitation events, whereas there is further intensification over other parts of North America, creating an “intense gets intenser” pattern over most of the continent.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [3];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [1]
  1. East China Normal University
  2. Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
  3. Environment and Climate Change Canada
  4. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
  5. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
  6. University of California, Los Angeles
  7. University of Victoria
  8. China Meteorological Administration
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1571513
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-141875
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Li, Chao, Zwiers, F, Zhang, Xuebin, Chen, Gang, Lu, Jian, Li, Guilong, Norris, Jesse, Tan, Yaheng, Sun, Ying, and Liu, Min. Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019GL082908.
Li, Chao, Zwiers, F, Zhang, Xuebin, Chen, Gang, Lu, Jian, Li, Guilong, Norris, Jesse, Tan, Yaheng, Sun, Ying, & Liu, Min. Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms. United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL082908.
Li, Chao, Zwiers, F, Zhang, Xuebin, Chen, Gang, Lu, Jian, Li, Guilong, Norris, Jesse, Tan, Yaheng, Sun, Ying, and Liu, Min. Fri . "Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms". United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL082908.
@article{osti_1571513,
title = {Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms},
author = {Li, Chao and Zwiers, F and Zhang, Xuebin and Chen, Gang and Lu, Jian and Li, Guilong and Norris, Jesse and Tan, Yaheng and Sun, Ying and Liu, Min},
abstractNote = {Global climate models project that extreme precipitation events will increase in intensity during the 21st century at large spatial scales, with several studies suggesting that the most extreme events will exhibit the highest rate of intensification. The identification of the causes of this phenomenon nevertheless remains tenuous, in part because some studies have used methods that may not be appropriate for diagnosing long-term changes in intensity. Using a large ensemble of North American regional climate simulations, we confirm statistical evidence that intensification occurs more rapidly with warming for more extreme events of hourly-to-daily durations at finer regional scales. The larger increases in more extreme events are found to be primarily due to atmospheric circulation changes. Thermodynamically induced changes are found to have relatively uniform effects across extreme events and regions. In contrast, dynamical changes that are reflected in vertical velocity weaken moderate precipitation events over western interior regions of North America, and enhance them elsewhere. The weakening effect decreases and even reverses for more extreme precipitation events, whereas there is further intensification over other parts of North America, creating an “intense gets intenser” pattern over most of the continent.},
doi = {10.1029/2019GL082908},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 12,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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