Model projected changes of extreme wind events in response to global warming

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Abstract

[1] The changes in the frequency of occurrence of extreme wind storm events in response to anthropogenic global warming are explored using a multi-model ensemble of coupled climate model simulations. These changes, diagnosed using several different metrics based on the daily wind fields, indicate that the frequency of the most extreme wind events decreases over the tropics in association with the model-projected weakening of the large-scale atmospheric circulation. At higher latitudes, the strongest near-surface wind events are found to increase in frequency in association with the amplified baroclinicity and poleward shift of the midlatitude storm tracks. The frequency of the heaviest precipitation events increases in all models, despite a systematic reduction of extreme upward vertical velocities, due to the increased moisture content of the lower troposphere. All of these changes are shown to be robust projections of current climate models.

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