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Projected changes in near surface climate extremes

PI: V.V. Kharin
Institution: Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Background: Climate extremes are significant departures from a normal state of the climate and may have significant socio-economical and ecological impacts. An important question is whether climate changes caused by anthropogenic activities will change the intensity and frequency of extreme events. It is therefore of great interest to document the projected changes in extremes as simulated by modern global climate models.

Objective: Evaluate projected changes in simulated extremes of near surface temperature, precipitation and wind speed.

Methodology: Extreme events and their changes will be evaluated in terms of return values of annual (and possibly seasonal) extremes at every grid point (Kharin and Zwiers 2000, 2004; Wehner 2004). The analysis of other extreme value statistics such as changes in threshold exceedance frequencies, changes in heating, cooling and growing degree days etc. is possible, provided daily data are available.

Data: gridded fields of monthly extremes of (2m) Tmax, (2m) Tmin, 24-h PCP, (10m) wind speed. Optional: daily data of the above quantities and additionally of PMSL for 20-yr timeslices.


Kharin, V. V., and F. W. Zwiers, 2000: Changes in the extremes in an ensemble of transient climate simulation with a coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM. J. Climate, 13, 3760--3788.

Kharin, V. V., and F. W. Zwiers, 2004: Estimating extremes in transient climate change simulations. J. Climate (submitted).

Wehner, M. F., 2004: Predicted 21st century changes in seasonal extreme precipitation events in the Parallel Climate Model. J. Climate (accepted).

Proponents and potential participants: V.V.Kharin, F.W.Zwiers, X.Zhang, M.F.Wehner, G.C.Hegerl
  • Kharin, V.V., F. W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, and G. C. Hegerl, 2007: Changes in temperature and precipitation extremes in the IPCC ensemble of global coupled model simulations. J. Climate, 20, 1419-1444. Abstract. Edit.

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