Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-40
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-40

  29 Jun 2021

29 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal WCD and is expected to appear here in due course.

A dynamical adjustment perspective on extreme event attribution

Laurent Terray Laurent Terray
  • CECI, Université de Toulouse, CERFACS/CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. Here we demonstrate that dynamical adjustment allows a straightforward approach to extreme event attribution within a conditional framework. We illustrate the potential of the approach with two iconic extreme events that occurred in 2010: the early winter European cold spell and the Russian summer heat wave. We use a dynamical adjustment approach based on constructed atmospheric circulation analogues to isolate the various contributions to these two extreme events using only observational and reanalysis datasets. Dynamical adjustment results confirm previous findings regarding the role of atmospheric circulation in the two extreme events and provide a quantitative estimate of the various dynamic and thermodynamic contributions to the event amplitude. Furthermore, the approach is also used to identify the drivers of the recent 1979–2018 trends in summer extreme maximum and minimum temperature changes over western Europe and western Asia. The results suggest a significant role of the dynamic component in explaining temperature extreme changes in different regions, including regions around the Black and Caspian Seas as well as central Europe and the coasts of western Europe. Finally, dynamical adjustment offers a simple and complementary storyline approach to extreme event attribution with the advantage that no climate model simulations are needed, making it a promising candidate for the fast-track component of any real-time extreme event attribution system.

Laurent Terray

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of wcd-2021-40', Kathrin Wehrli, 02 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on wcd-2021-40', Tim Woollings, 10 Aug 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of wcd-2021-40', Kathrin Wehrli, 02 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on wcd-2021-40', Tim Woollings, 10 Aug 2021

Laurent Terray

Laurent Terray

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Short summary
Attribution of the causes of extreme temperature events has become an active research due to the wide-ranging impacts of recent heatwaves and cold spells. Here we show that a purely observational approach based on atmospheric circulation analogues and resampling provides a robust quantification of the various dynamic and thermodynamic contributions to specific extreme temperature events. The approach can easily be integrated in the toolbox of any real-time extreme event attribution system.