Setting and smashing extreme temperature records over the coming century

Power, Scott B. and Delage, Francois P. D. (2019) Setting and smashing extreme temperature records over the coming century. Nature Climate Change, 9 (7). pp. 529-534. ISSN 1758-678X


Abstract

Changes in the intensity or frequency of extreme climate events can profoundly increase the disruption caused by climate change1–4. The more extreme these events, the greater the potential to push ecosystems and communities beyond their ability to cope3,5. The rate at which existing high temperature records have been broken has increased in response to rising global greenhouse gas emissions (GGHGEs)2,6–8, and the rate at which historical records are surpassed is projected to increase further over the coming century1,2,9,10. Here we examine future events that will be so extreme that they will not have been experienced previously. Record setting in 22 climate models11 indicates that, by the end of the twenty-first century, under business-as-usual increases in GGHGEs (representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 (ref. 12)), high monthly mean temperature records will be set in approximately 58% of the world every year, and in 67% of least developed countries and 68% of small island developing states. These figures all drop to 14% under a scenario with much lower GHG concentrations (RCP2.6 (ref. 12)). In any given year, the likelihood of ‘smashing’ at least one monthly record by more than 1.0 °C is much less likely under RCP2.6 than it is under RCP8.5 (1.1 versus 8.9%).


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 04:51
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 00:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: extreme climate events; climate change
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370201 Climate change processes
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) ""
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960309 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. Social Impacts)
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts)
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960308 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on New Zealand (excl. Social Impacts)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190502 Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0498-5
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42402

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