Aug 3, 2007

Doubled length of western European summer heat waves since 1880

P. M. Della-Marta, M. R. Haylock, J. Luterbacher, H. Wanner
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
  • Analyzes a data set of 54 high-quality homogenized daily maximum temperature series from western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom)
  • Defines more accurately the change in extreme warm Daily Summer Maximum Temperature (DSMT)
  • Suggests that many instrumental measurements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were warm-biased
  • Corrects for earlier instrumental measurment biases
  • Finds that from the period 1880 to 2005 the length of summer heat waves over western Europe has doubled and the frequency of hot days has almost tripled
  • Further the evidence that western Europe's climate has become more extreme than previously thought and that the hypothesized increase in variance of future summer temperature has indeed been a reality over the last 126 years