Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-109
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-109

  22 Feb 2021

22 Feb 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

The Effect of Forced and Unforced Variability on Heat Waves, Temperature Extremes, and Associated Population Risk in a CO2-Warmed World

Jangho Lee, Jeffery C. Mast, and Andrew E. Dessler Jangho Lee et al.
  • Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Abstract. This study investigates the impact of global warming on heat and humidity extremes by analyzing 6-hourly output from 28 members of the Max Planck Institute Grand Ensemble driven by forcing from a 1 %/year CO2 increase. We find that unforced variability drives large changes in regional exposure to extremes in different ensemble members, and these variations are mostly associated with ENSO variability. However, while the unforced variability of the climate can alter the occurrence of extremes regionally, variability within the ensemble decreases significantly as one looks at larger regions or at a global population perspective. This means that, for metrics of extreme heat and humidity analyzed here, forced variability of the climate is more important than the unforced variability at global scales. Lastly, we found that most heat wave metrics will increase significantly between 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C, and that low GDP regions shows significant higher risks of facing extreme heat events compared to high GDP regions. Considering the limited economic adaptability of population to heat extremes, this reinforces the idea that the most severe impacts of climate change may fall mostly on those least capable to adapt.

Jangho Lee et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Reviewer Comment on acp-2021-109', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Review of acp-2021-109', Sabine Undorf, 18 Apr 2021

Jangho Lee et al.

Jangho Lee et al.

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Short summary
This paper investigates the impact of global warming on heat and humidity extremes. There are three major findings in this study. 1) we quantify how unforced variability of the climate impacts can lead to large variations in where heat waves occur. 2) we find that all heat extreme increase as climate warms, especially between 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C of global average warming. 3) we show that the economic inequity of facing extreme heat will worsen in warmer world.
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