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Increasing probability of record-shattering climate extremes

 作者:Fischer, E. M. ; Sippel, S.; Knutti, R.
Changes in extreme heat are often calculated as anomalies above a reference climatology. A different definition-week-day heatwaves surpassing the current record by large margins-shows that their occurrence probabilities depend on warming rate, not level, and are higher than during recent decades.

Recent climate extremes have broken long-standing records by large margins. Such extremes unprecedented in the observational period often have substantial impacts due to a tendency to adapt to the highest intensities, and no higher, experienced during a lifetime. Here, we show models project not only more intense extremes but also events that break previous records by much larger margins. These record-shattering extremes, nearly impossible in the absence of warming, are likely to occur in the coming decades. We demonstrate that their probability of occurrence depends on warming rate, rather than global warming level, and is thus pathway-dependent. In high-emission scenarios, week-long heat extremes that break records by three or more standard deviations are two to seven times more probable in 2021-2050 and three to 21 times more probable in 2051-2080, compared to the last three decades. In 2051-2080, such events are estimated to occur about every 6-37 years somewhere in the northern midlatitudes.
来源:NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE   :11 :8版年: 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41558-021-01092-9