May 28, 2015

Attribution of extreme temperature changes during 1951–2010

Yeon-Hee Kim, Seung-Ki Min, Xuebin Zhang, Francis Zwiers, Lisa V. Alexander, Markus G. Donat, Yu-Shiang Tung
Climate Dynamics
  • Conducts an attribution analysis of extreme temperature changes using updated observations (HadEX2) and multi-model climate simulation (CMIP5) datasets for an extended period of 1951–2010
  • Finds that the current results provide better agreement with observations compared to previous HadEX/CMIP3-based results, which identified human contributions to the observed warming of extreme temperatures on global and regional scales
  • Uses an optimal fingerprinting technique to compare observed changes in annual extreme temperature indices of coldest night and day (TNn, TXn) and warmest night and day (TNx, TXx) with multi-model simulated changes that were simulated under natural-plus-anthropogenic and natural-only (NAT) forcings
  • Results confirm previous HadEX/CMIP3-based results in which anthropogenic (ANT) signals are robustly detected in the increase in global mean and northern continental regional means of the four indices of extreme temperatures
  • Concludes that the detected ANT signals are also clearly separable from the response to NAT forcing, and results are generally insensitive to the use of different model samples as well as different data availability