Concurrent 2018 Hot Extremes Across Northern Hemisphere Due to Human‐Induced Climate Change

Vogel, M. M.; Zscheischler, J.; Wartenburger, R.; Dee, D.; Seneviratne, S. I. (2019). Concurrent 2018 Hot Extremes Across Northern Hemisphere Due to Human‐Induced Climate Change. Earth's future, 7(7), pp. 692-703. Wiley 10.1029/2019EF001189

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Extremely high temperatures pose an immediate threat to humans and ecosystems. In recent years, many regions on land and in the ocean experienced heat waves with devastating impacts that would have been highly unlikely without human‐induced climate change. Impacts are particularly severe when heat waves occur in regions with high exposure of people or crops. The recent 2018 spring‐to‐summer season was characterized by several major heat and dry extremes. On daily average between May and July 2018 about 22% of the populated and agricultural areas north of 30° latitude experienced concurrent hot temperature extremes. Events of this type were unprecedented prior to 2010, while similar conditions were experienced in the 2010 and 2012 boreal summers. Earth System Model simulations of present‐day climate, that is, at around +1 °C global warming, also display an increase of concurrent heat extremes. Based on Earth System Model simulations, we show that it is virtually certain (using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calibrated uncertainty language) that the 2018 north hemispheric concurrent heat events would not have occurred without human‐induced climate change. Our results further reveal that the average high‐exposure area projected to experience concurrent warm and hot spells in the Northern Hemisphere increases by about 16% per additional +1 °C of global warming. A strong reduction in fossil fuel emissions is paramount to reduce the risks of unprecedented global‐scale heat wave impacts.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Zscheischler, Jakob

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

2328-4277

Publisher:

Wiley

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Projects:

[1295] New metrics for constraining multiple drivers of hazard and compound hazards Official URL

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jakob Zscheischler

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2020 14:00

Last Modified:

02 Apr 2020 16:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1029/2019EF001189

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.140024

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140024

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