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  • Diffenbaugh, N.S. and Ashfaq, M., 2010: Intensification of hot extremes in the United States. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2010GL043888.

Governments are currently considering policies that will limit greenhouse gas concentrations, including negotiation of an international treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Existing mitigation targets have arisen primarily from political negotiations, and the ability of such policies to avoid dangerous impacts is still uncertain. Using a large suite of climate model experiments, we find that substantial intensification of hot extremes could occur within the next 3 decades, below the 2C global warming target currently being considered by policy makers. We also find that the intensification of hot extremes is associated with a shift towards more anticyclonic atmospheric circulation during the warm season, along with warm-season drying over much of the U.S. The possibility that intensification of hot extremes could result from relatively small increases in greenhouse gas concentrations suggests that constraining global warming to 2C may not be sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change.

Full Article: http://www.stanford.edu/~omramom/Diffenbaugh_GRL_10.pdf

Last Updated: 2010-12-24

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