Relevance of land forcings and feedbacks in the attribution of climate extremes

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 4:30 PM
Sonia I Seneviratne, Edouard Davin, Peter Greve, Lukas Gudmundsson, Matthias Hauser, Martin Hirschi, Brigitte Mueller, Boris Orlowsky and Rene Orth, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Land forcings and feedbacks play an important role in the climate system, in particular for the occurrence of climate extremes. Recent investigations have for instance highlighted the impacts of soil moisture-climate interactions for the development of droughts and heat waves (e.g. Seneviratne et al. 2012, Mueller and Seneviratne 2012, Seneviratne et al. 2013, Orlowsky and Seneviratne 2013). In addition, forcing from land use and land cover changes through modified albedo or turbulent fluxes can also affect the temperature variability in summer (Davin et al. 2014). These effects are important for better understanding the relationships between climate forcing and regional climate changes, and appear relevant for a recent discrepancy between trends in global mean temperature vs hot extremes over land (Seneviratne et al. 2014). This presentation will provide an overview on the underlying processes and on possible approaches for their consideration in attribution research.

- Davin, E.L., S.I. Seneviratne, P. Ciais, A. Olioso, T. Wang, 2014: Preferential cooling of hot extremes from cropland albedo management. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., Published ahead of print June 23, 2014.
- Mueller, B., and S.I. Seneviratne, 2012: Hot days induced by precipitation deficits at the global scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (31), 12398-12403, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1204330109.
- Orlowsky, B., and S.I. Seneviratne, 2013: Elusive drought: Uncertainty in observed trends and short- and long-term CMIP5 projections. Hydr. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1765-1781, doi:10.5194/hess-17-1765-2013
- Seneviratne, S.I., N. Nicholls, et al., 2012: Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., et al. (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pp. 109-230.
- Seneviratne, S.I., et al.: First results from the GLACE-CMIP5 experiment. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (19), 5212-5217
- Seneviratne, S.I, M. Donat, B. Mueller, and L.V. Alexander, 2014: No pause in the increase of hot temperature extremes. Nature Climate Change, 4, 161-163.