Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hayley Fowler,
Dr Steven Chan
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Nature Publishing Group, 2014.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
The intensification of precipitation extremes with climate change(1) is of key importance to society as a result of the large impact through flooding. Observations show that heavy rainfall is increasing on daily timescales in many regions(2), but how changes will manifest themselves on sub-daily timescales remains highly uncertain. Here we perform the first climate change experiments with a very high resolution (1.5 km grid spacing) model more typically used for weather forecasting, in this instance for a region of the UK. The model simulates realistic hourly rainfall characteristics, including extremes(3,4), unlike coarser resolution climate models(5,6), giving us confidence in its ability to project future changes at this timescale. We find the 1.5 km model shows increases in hourly rainfall intensities in winter, consistent with projections from a coarser 12 km resolution model and previous studies at the daily timescale(7). However, the 1.5 km model also shows a future intensification of short-duration rain in summer, with significantly more events exceeding the high thresholds indicative of serious flash flooding. We conclude that accurate representation of the local storm dynamics is an essential requirement for predicting changes to convective extremes; when included we find for the model here that summer downpours intensify with warming.
Author(s): Kendon EJ, Roberts NM, Fowler HJ, Roberts MJ, Chan SC, Senior CA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Print publication date: 01/07/2014
Online publication date: 01/06/2014
Acceptance date: 06/05/2014
ISSN (print): 1758-678X
ISSN (electronic): 1758-6798
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric