Evolution of future precipitation extremes revealed by a novel climate change classification

Authors: Shao Sun*, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Peijun Shi, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, Qiang Zhang, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, Deliang Chen, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Jianguo Wu, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Climatology and Meteorology, Global Change
Keywords: extreme precipitation, climate classification, climate projection, natural hazard
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Regional differentiation of global precipitation changes is more pronounced than that of global warming. Previous studies have shown that the frequency, intensity and duration of precipitation extremes are generally increasing, but their performance varies on a regional scale. In order to reveal the relationship between the evolution of extreme events and long-term climate change, this study established a new classification scheme based on interdecadal trend and interannual variability of precipitation, and divided the globe into 20 different climate change regions. The evolution of extreme events in different regions were analyzed by five indices, including RX5day (maximum five-day precipitation), R95pTOT (precipitation due to very wet days), R20mm (very heavy precipitation days), CWD (consecutive wet days) and CDD (consecutive dry days). The research found that the extreme precipitation events in the wet trend regions were increasing significantly, especially in the tropical and temperate zones. For those dry trend regions, the extreme precipitation events in the enhanced variability areas still showed an increasing trend, especially in the tropical and cold zones, but there was no significant trend in the weakened variability areas. What is more noteworthy is that the temperate zone, with the most extensive human social and economic activities, showed an increasing trend of both extreme wet events and dry events, which indicates higher precipitation-related hazard intensity in the future and may lead to unprecedented disasters. This study can provide a scientific basis for identifying hot spots of climate change impacts and for developing adaptation measures to address climate change.

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