Project

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Long-term changes of weather extremes in a large ensmble of climate model simulations (EXTRA-LARGE)

English title Long-term changes of weather extremes in a large ensmble of climate model simulations (EXTRA-LARGE)
Applicant Brönnimann Stefan
Number 143219
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.09.2013 - 31.08.2017
Approved amount 170'508.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Meteorology

Keywords (6)

weather extremes; climate change ; historical data; climate model simulations; past climate; climate dynamics

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Long-term changes of weather extremes in a large ensmble of climate model simulations (EXTRA-LARGE)
Lay summary
A large part of the damage caused by ongoing and future climatic changes is not due to changes in the mean climate state but rather due to changes in the frequency or intensity of extreme events. However, our understanding of decadal-to-centennial variability in the frequency or intensity of extreme events is still rudimentary. It is limited by both, the length of the observational record and the capabilities of climate models to adequately capture extremes. In the project we combine the analysis of past extreme weather events (storms, heat waves, droughts, and associated flow features) in a newly available, long observation-based data set with a large number of simulations with a state-of-the-art global climate model. In total, 30 simulations, each covering the 1600 to 2005 period in high temporal and spatial resolution, are used. The model allows addressing the role of sea-surface temperatures for changes ion frequency of extremes. The project will provide insights on decadal variations in weather extremes, which is important as planning horizons for damage averting constructions typically are on the multidecadal scale.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.08.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Causes of increased flood frequency in central Europe in the 19th century
Brönnimann Stefan, Frigerio Luca, Schwander Mikhaël, Rohrer Marco, Stucki Peter, Franke Jörg (2019), Causes of increased flood frequency in central Europe in the 19th century, in Climate of the Past, 15(4), 1395-1409.
Decadal variations of blocking and storm tracks in centennial reanalyses
Rohrer Marco, BrÖnnimann Stefan, Martius Olivia, Raible Christoph C., Wild Martin (2019), Decadal variations of blocking and storm tracks in centennial reanalyses, in Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 71(1), 1-21.
Historical weather data for climate risk assessmentHistorical weather data for climate risk assessment
Brönnimann Stefan, Martius Olivia, Rohr Christian, Bresch David N., Lin Kuan-Hui Elaine (2019), Historical weather data for climate risk assessmentHistorical weather data for climate risk assessment, in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1436(1), 121-137.
The effect of the Tambora eruption on Swiss flood generation in 1816/1817
Rössler Ole, Brönnimann Stefan (2018), The effect of the Tambora eruption on Swiss flood generation in 1816/1817, in Science of The Total Environment, 627, 1218-1227.
Representation of Extratropical Cyclones, Blocking Anticyclones, and Alpine Circulation Types in Multiple Reanalyses and Model Simulations
Rohrer Marco, Brönnimann Stefan, Martius Olivia, Raible Christoph C., Wild Martin, Compo Gilbert P. (2018), Representation of Extratropical Cyclones, Blocking Anticyclones, and Alpine Circulation Types in Multiple Reanalyses and Model Simulations, in Journal of Climate, 31(8), 3009-3031.
1868 – das Hochwasser, das die Schweiz veränderte: Ursachen, Folgen und Lehren für die Zukunft
Brönnimann Stefan, Rohr Christian, Stucki Peter, Summermatter Stephanie (2018), 1868 – das Hochwasser, das die Schweiz veränderte: Ursachen, Folgen und Lehren für die Zukunft, Geographica Bernensia, Bern.
Simulating crop yield losses in Switzerland for historical and present Tambora climate scenarios
Flückiger Simon, Brönnimann Stefan, Holzkämper Annelie, Fuhrer Jürg, Krämer Daniel, Pfister Christian, Rohr Christian (2017), Simulating crop yield losses in Switzerland for historical and present Tambora climate scenarios, in Environmental Research Letters, 12(7), 074026-074026.
Climate change and circulation types in the Alpine region
Rohrer Marco, Croci-Maspoli Mischa, Appenzeller Christof (2017), Climate change and circulation types in the Alpine region, in Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 26(1), 83-92.
Influence of solar variability on the occurrence of Central European weather types from 1763 to 2009
Schwander Mikhaël, Rohrer Marco, Brönnimann Stefan, Malik Abdul (2017), Influence of solar variability on the occurrence of Central European weather types from 1763 to 2009, in Climate of the Past Discussions, 1-25.
Stationary flow near fronts
Steinacker Reinhold, Brönnimann Stefan (2017), Stationary flow near fronts, in Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 25(6), 805-809.
Historical Weather Extremes in Reaalyses
BrönnimannStefan (2017), Historical Weather Extremes in Reaalyses, Geographica Bernensia, Bern.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ECMWF/ERACLIM team Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
NOAA/CIRES and Univ. Colorado, CDC United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
OCCR, Univ. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
130407 Extension, Validation and Analysis of Historical Upper-Air Data Sets (EVALUATE) 01.10.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
162668 Reconstructing Climate Using Ensemble Kalman Fitting (REUSE) 01.06.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
130642 Future and Past Solar Influence on the Terrestrial Climate 01.09.2010 Sinergia
159905 Triggering mechanisms of synoptic-scale Rossby waves 01.09.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156059 Atmospheric blocking - moist dynamical processes and links to flood events 01.04.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

A large part of the damage caused by ongoing and future climatic changes is not due to changes in the mean climate state but rather due to changes in the frequency or intensity of extreme events. However, our understanding of decadal-to-centennial variability in the frequency or intensity of extreme events is still rudimentary. It is limited by both, the length of the observational record and model simulation uncertainties. Here, we propose to combine the analysis of past extreme weather events in a newly avail-able 140-yr long observation-based data set (the “Twentieth Century Reanalysis” or 20CR, Compo et al. 2011) and in historical instrumental observations and climate proxies span-ning the past half millennium with a large ensemble of simulations with a state-of-the-art global climate model. We focus on storms, heat waves, and droughts as well as on associ-ated atmospheric flow features such as blocking or jet stream characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that the model set-up (spectral truncation of T63, 31 levels) is able to real-istically reproduce the dynamical processes leading to weather extremes. Six-hourly data from an ensemble of 30 simulations from 1600 to 2005 is available and will be used to as-sess multidecadal changes in occurrence frequencies of extreme weather events. The project will provide information on decadal-to-centennial variability of extremes during the past 400 years, a period that underwent large climatic changes on global and regional scales of both natural and anthropogenic origin. The variability of extremes will be related to the large-scale circulation, changes in mean climate, and climate forcings. Exploring multidecadal variability in the frequency of extremes is important as planning horizons for damage averting constructions typically are on the multidecadal scale. The project will likely provide new insights on the decadal variability and trends of extreme events, which is of importance for the public and stakeholders such as the insurance sector.
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