Compound summer temperature and precipitation extremes over central Europe
Reliable knowledge of the near-future climate change signal of extremes is important for adaptation and mitigation strategies. Especially compound extremes, like heat and drought occurring simultaneously, may have a greater impact on society than their univariate counterparts and have recently become an active field of study. In this paper, we use a 12-member ensemble of high-resolution (7 km) regional climate simulations with the regional climate model COSMO-CLM over central Europe to analyze the climate change signal and its uncertainty for compound heat and drought extremes in summer by two different measures: one describing absolute (i.e., number of exceedances of absolute thresholds like hot days), the other relative (i.e., number of exceedances of time series intrinsic thresholds) compound extreme events. Changes are assessed between a reference period (1971–2000) and a projection period (2021–2050). Our findings show an increase in the number of absolute compound events for the whole investigation area. The change signal of relative extremes is more region-dependent, but there is a strong signal change in the southern and eastern parts of Germany and the neighboring countries. Especially the Czech Republic shows strong change in absolute and relative extreme events.