Future changes in the frequency of temperature extremes may be underestimated in tropical and subtropical regions.

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Abstract

In a warming world, temperature extremes are expected to show a distinguishable change over much of the globe even at 1.5 °C warming, and in many regions this change has already been detected in observations. Although many studies predict an increase in heat extreme events, the magnitude of the change varies greatly among different models even for the same mean warming. This uncertainty has been linked to differences in land–atmosphere feedback across models. Here we show that a significant constraint for future projections can be based on the ability of climate models to accurately simulate the present day variability of daily surface maximum temperature. An emergent constraint on Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and 6 (CMIP6) models, applied to ERA5 reanalysis, indicates that the best estimate in hot extreme changes by the end of the century could be worse than previously estimated, mostly for tropical and subtropical regions as well as South and East Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021

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