Indices for extreme events in projections of anthropogenic climate change
Indices for temperature and precipitation extremes are calculated on the basis of the global climate model ECHAM5/MPI-OM simulations of the twentieth century and SRES A1B and B1 emission scenarios for the twenty-first century. For model evaluation, the simulated indices representing the present climate were compared with indices based on observational data. This comparison shows that the model is able to realistically capture the observed climatological large-scale patterns of temperature and precipitation indices, although the quality of the simulations depends on the index and region under consideration. In the climate projections for the twenty-first century, all considered temperature-based indices, minimum Tmin, maximum Tmax, and the frequency of tropical nights, show a significant increase worldwide. Similarly, extreme precipitation, as represented by the maximum 5-day precipitation and the 95th percentile of precipitation, is projected to increase significantly in most regions of the world, especially in those that are relatively wet already under present climate conditions. Analogously, dry spells increase particularly in those regions that are characterized by dry conditions in present-day climate. Future changes in the indices exhibit distinct regional and seasonal patterns as identified exemplarily in three European regions.