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Global analysis of changes in weather extremes

PI: Reiner Schnur
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg
Additional Investigators: Jana Sillmann
Objectives: To analyze changes in extreme weather events globally and for selected regions (e.g. Europe, North/South America, Africa, Asia, Australia) under increased greenhouse gas conditions and to detect these changes in observations of the last decades. In particular:

Analyse global changes in the probability and distribution of extreme weather events based on daily temperature and precipitation as well as the derived extremes indices after Frich et al. (2002). The methods include e.g. the fitting of the daily precipitation data to statistical distributions (e.g. Gamma, Generalized Extreme Value) and the analysis of the changes in the distribution parameters under increased greenhouse gas conditions. Statistical tests will be applied regarding the significance of the changes in the parameters as well as the goodness-of-fit.
Apply the optimal Bayesian detection and attribution methodology of Schnur and Hasselmann (2004) to the multiple indices considered in (i) using the different model (ensemble) experiments. This approach automatically includes model uncertainty in the analysis, and allows to assess the sensitivity of achieved detection levels on prior judgements of the expected changes.

Frich, P., et al., 2002: Observed coherent changes in climate extremes during the second half of the twentieth century. Climate Research, 19, 193-212.
Schnur R., and K. Hasselmann, 2004: Optimal filtering for Bayesian detection and attribution of climate change. Climate Dynamics, in press.
  • Sillmann, J. and E. Roeckner, 2007: Indices for extreme events in projections of anthropogenic climate change. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-007-9308-6. In press. Abstract. Edit.

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