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Jonghun Kam, Seung-Ki Min, Piotr Wolski, and Jong-Seong Kug
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Kwesi A. Quagraine, Bruce Hewitson, Christopher Jack, Piotr Wolski, Izidine Pinto, and Christopher Lennard

Abstract

As established in earlier research, analysis of the combined roles (co-behavior) of multiple climate processes provides useful insights into the drivers of regional climate variability, especially for regions with no singular large-scale circulation control. Here, we extend the previous study in order to examine the performance of eight models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) in representing co-behavior influence on surface expressions over southern Africa. We find that although models broadly simulate observed precipitation responses over southern Africa, they fail to produce statistically strong response signals for an important drought pattern (El Niño co-behaving with positive Antarctic Oscillation during summer) for the region. We also demonstrate that the models show statistically strong temperature response signals to co-behavior that agree well with observed responses over the region. The multimodel ensemble mean although consistent with observations shows a larger spread. By elucidating the performance of models in representing observed co-behavior of climate processes, we are able to evaluate models while establishing important information for understanding of climate variability.

Open access
Friederike E. L. Otto, Luke Harrington, Katharina Schmitt, Sjoukje Philip, Sarah Kew, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Roop Singh, Joyce Kimutai, and Piotr Wolski

Abstract

The science of event attribution has emerged to routinely answer the question whether and to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of recently observed extreme weather events. In Europe a pilot program to operationalize the method started in November 2019, highlighting the demand for timely information on the role of climate change when it is needed most: in the direct aftermath of an extreme event. Independent of whether studies are provided operationally or as academic studies, the necessity of good observational data and well-verified climate models imply most attributions are currently made for highly developed countries only. Current attribution assessments therefore provide very little information about those events and regions where the largest damages and socio-economic losses are incurred. Arguably, these larger damages signify a much greater need for information on how the likelihood and intensity of such high-impact events have been changing and are likely to change in a warmer world. In short, why do we not focus event attribution research efforts on the whole world, and particularly events in the developing world? The reasons are not just societal and political but also scientific. We simply cannot attribute these events in the same probabilistic framework employed in most studies today. We outline six focus areas to lessen these barriers, but we will not overcome them in the near future.

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