May 22, 2013

Event Attribution of the August 2010 Russian Heat Wave

by
Masahiro Watanabe, Hideo Shiogama, Yukiko Imada, Masato Mori, Masayoshi Ishii, and Masahide Kimoto
,
Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere
  • States that an extreme heat wave hit western Russia in the summer of 2010
  • Generates 100-member ensembles of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) experiments, with and without possible human-induced changes in sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice, to investigate the contribution of anthropogenic climate change to this event
  • States that the AGCM can reproduce monthly surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies for the past 30 years over the continental area
  • Finds that the ensemble covers the extremely high SAT anomaly over western Russia observed in August 2010 with the probability of occurrence at 3.3%
  • Finds that without the anthropogenic change in SST and sea ice, the ensemble fails to capture the anomaly, reducing the probability of occurrence to 0.6%
  • Concludes that the atmospheric response to the tropical precipitation change associated with anthropogenic SST increase leads to warming over Eurasia through northward temperature advection, consistent with the observed upward SAT trend