Climate Dynamics

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 3803–3815 | Cite as

Return times of hot and cold days via recurrences and extreme value theory

  • Davide Faranda
  • M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro
  • Pascal Yiou


In this paper we introduce a model evaluation and comparison metric based on the methodology introduced in Faranda et al. (Geophys Res Lett 40(21):5782–5786, 2013) to assess biases and their potential origins in a historical model simulation against long-term reanalysis. The metric is constructed by exploiting recent results of dynamical systems theory linking rare recurrences to the classical statistical theories of extreme events for time series. We compute rare recurrences for 100 years daily mean temperatures data obtained in a model with historical greenhouse forcing (the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, IPSL-CM5 model) and compare them with the same quantities obtained from two datasets of reanalysis (twentieth Century Reanalysis and ERA 20C). The period chosen for the comparison is 1900–2000 and the focus is on the European region. We show that with respect to the traditional approaches, the recurrence technique is sensitive to the change in the size of the selection window of extremes due to the conditions imposed by the dynamics.


Climate Dynamical systems Extreme events Recurrences Temperature 



D. Faranda and P. Yiou were supported by ERC Grant No. 338965-A2C2 and M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro was supported by the Swedish Research Council Grant: “Euro-Atlantic climate variability during the last millennium: atmospheric circulation and extreme events (MILEX)”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Faranda
    • 1
  • M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro
    • 1
  • Pascal Yiou
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQUniversité Paris-SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance

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