Future change of temperature and precipitation extremes in South America as derived from the PRECIS regional climate modeling system

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Abstract

Using the PRECIS regional climate modeling system this study analyses the distribution of extremes of temperature and precipitation in South America in the recent past (1961–1990) and in a future (2071–2100) climate under the IPCC SRES A2 and B2 emissions scenarios. The results show that for the present climate the model simulates well the spatial distribution of extreme temperature and rainfall events when compared with observations, with temperature the more realistic. The observations over the region are far from comprehensive which compromises the assessment of model quality. In all the future climate scenarios considered all parts of the region would experience significant and often different changes in rainfall and temperature extremes. In the future, the occurrence of warm nights is projected to be more frequent in the entire tropical South America while the occurrence of cold night events is likely to decrease. Significant changes in rainfall extremes and dry spells are also projected. These include increased intensity of extreme precipitation events over most of Southeastern South America and western Amazonia consistent with projected increasing trends in total rainfall in these regions. In Northeast Brazil and eastern Amazonia smaller or no changes are seen in projected rainfall intensity though significant changes are seen in the frequency of consecutive dry days. Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society

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