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1 Severe Weather Response to Climate Change: The Expected and the Unexpected Regional Climate Research Section NCAR Earth System Laboratory NCAR is Sponsored.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Severe Weather Response to Climate Change: The Expected and the Unexpected Regional Climate Research Section NCAR Earth System Laboratory NCAR is Sponsored."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Severe Weather Response to Climate Change: The Expected and the Unexpected Regional Climate Research Section NCAR Earth System Laboratory NCAR is Sponsored by NSF and this work is partially supported by the Willis Research Network, the DOE Research Program to Secure Energy for America and NSF EASM Grants and Greg Holland Collaboration with Cindy Bruyere

2 IPCC assessment of extremes and climate change Application of EVT to hurricane extremes The Anthropogenic Climate Change Index (ACCI) Past changes in hurricane extremes, expected and unexpected. Holland, ETH October Summary

3 “There is evidence that some extremes have changed as a result of anthropogenic influences, including increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.” likely for extreme maximum temperatures medium for extreme precipitation likely for extreme coastal high water Likely increase in tropical cyclone maximum winds Holland, ETH October IPCC Findings (IPCC SREX 2012)

4 Holland, ETH October Sensitivity of Extremes (IPCC SREX 2012)

5 Quantifiable Through Extreme Value Theory We utilize the Weibull distribution for which the PDF and Exceedence Probability are: Where parameters a and b determine the scale and the shape, respectively. 5 Holland, ETH October 2012

6 The Weibull distribution mean and variance are given by: Holland, ETH October Sensitivity of Extremes For Atlantic tropical cyclones: Changes to the mean and standard deviation of ms -1 (around the observational resolution) results in: % increase in Cat 4-5 and % increase in Cat 5. (Holland and Bruyere 2012)

7 Holland, ETH October An Example: Melbourne Australia Temperatures Maximum Temperatures

8 Holland, ETH October Assessing Extremes from Low- Resolution Models Wind speed distribution shifting to right Projected increase in TC intensity, but model can only resolve up to Cat 2.

9 Holland, ETH October Future Hurricane Extremes Very similar results from using GPD instead of Weibull (Holland and Suzuki 2012)

10 Intense Hurricanes Likely to Increase with Global Warming (IPCC, WMO) That Global Warming has Already Occurred is Unequivocal (IPCC) No Evidence for Current Hurricane Changes?(IPCC WMO) Holland, ETH October A Conundrum

11 Holland, ETH October Weather Impacts Have Increased “Global weather-related losses in recent years have been trending upward much faster than population, inflation, or insurance penetration, and faster than non–weather-related events.” (Mills, 2005 Science) Is there a Weather Signal?

12 The Anthropogenic Climate Change Index ACCI Holland, ETH October Meehl et al 2004, IPCC AR4 Temp erature Anomaly ( o C) (Data from Julie Arblaster 2009)

13 IBTraCS data without change (10 min mean), except in western North Pacific where JTWC data set is used. Bin all hurricanes into the Saffir-Simpson category ranges (Simpson and Riehl 1981). 5-y smoothed annual time series to remove ENSO type variability; p-values are calculated from the raw annual data to ensure no serial correlation. In addition: o Recently upgraded satellite data set and automated analysis from Kossin (pers comm 2012), o Hurricane landfall data: our own (0.5 degree land proximity), and from Weinkle et al (2012), and o Dynamical downscaling results of Bender et al (2008), Holland and Suzuki-Parker (2012), and Wu and Zhao (2011). Holland, ETH October Tropical Cyclone Data Used

14 Holland, ETH October Tropical Cyclone Response to Global Warming SH Cyclones are in year season commenced (Holland and Bruyere 2012)

15 Holland, ETH October Intense Hurricane Response Change/ o C -30% 40% (Holland and Webster 2007) (Elsner et al 2009) Global (Holland and Bruyere 2012)

16 Holland, ETH October Regional Intense Hurricane Changes Holland and Bruyere (2012)

17 Holland, ETH October Summary of Available Studies (Observed) Changing proportion of hurricanes found by the indicated studies. (Holland and Bruyere 2012)

18 Holland, ETH October Weather Extremes Provide a Bellwether of Climate Variability and Change

19 Holland, ETH October Differing Study Results: Same Answer! (Holland and Bruyere 2012) Working Hypothesis: Weather extremes initially respond strongly to climate change, then reach a saturation level beyond which further climate change has little effect. (North Atlantic)

20 Holland, ETH October Note that Weather Extremes are Bounded (Holland and Bruyere 2012)

21 Holland, ETH October Character of the Observed Tropical Cyclone Changes (Holland and Bruyere 2012) Proportion is relative to all hurricanes

22 Extreme weather provides a bellwether of climate variability and change Global anthropogenic warming arguably commenced around Intense hurricanes have responded strongly to this warming with development of a bimodal distribution Intense hurricane (weather) changes may reach a saturation beyond which there is no further anthropogenic signal Holland, ETH October Summary


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