Climatic Change

, Volume 98, Issue 3–4, pp 509–529 | Cite as

An intercomparison of observed and simulated extreme rainfall and temperature events during the last half of the twentieth century: part 2: historical trends

  • Jose A. MarengoEmail author
  • Matilde Rusticucci
  • Olga Penalba
  • Madeleine Renom


We analyze historical simulations of variability in temperature and rainfall extremes in the twentieth century, as derived from various global models run informing the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR4). On the basis of three indices of climate extremes, we compare observed and modeled trends in time and space, including the direction and significance of the changes at the scale of South America south of 10° S. The climate extremes described warm nights, heavy rainfall amounts and dry spells. The reliability of the GCM simulations is suggested by similarity between observations and simulations in the case of warm nights and extreme rainfall in some regions. For any specific extreme temperature index, minor differences appear in the spatial distribution of the changes across models in some regions, while substantial differences appear in regions in the interior of tropical and subtropical South America. The differences are in the relative magnitude of the trends. Consensus and significance are less strong when regional patterns are considered, with the exception of the La Plata Basin, where observed and simulated trends in warm nights and extreme rainfall are evident.


Positive Trend Extreme Rainfall Extreme Index South Atlantic Convergence Zone Warm Night 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose A. Marengo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matilde Rusticucci
    • 2
    • 3
  • Olga Penalba
    • 2
  • Madeleine Renom
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro de Ciências do Sistema TerraInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas EspaciaisSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los OcéanosFCEN Universidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera, UBA/CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Unidad Ciencias de la Atmósfera FCIENUniversidad de la RepublicaMontevideoUruguay

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