Chao Li, Yuanyuan Fang, Ken Caldeira, Xuebin Zhang, Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Anna M. Michalak

Scientific Reports

Published date January 17, 2018

Widespread persistent changes to temperature extremes occurred earlier than predicted

  • Shows observational evidence that persistent changes to temperature extremes have already occurred over large parts of the Earth
  • Shows that climate models forced with natural and anthropogenic historical forcings underestimate these changes
  • Finds that persistent changes have emerged in observations earlier and over a larger spatial extent than predicted by models
  • Examination of simulations with and without anthropogenic forcings provides evidence that the observed changes are more likely to be anthropogenic than nature in origin
  • Findings suggest that further changes to temperature extremes over parts of the Earth are likely to occur earlier than projected by the current climate models