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    Past and future climate change in the context of memorable seasonal extremes


    Matthews, Tom K.R. and Mullan, Donal and Wilby, Robert L. and Broderick, Ciaran and Murphy, Conor (2016) Past and future climate change in the context of memorable seasonal extremes. Climate Risk Management, 11. pp. 37-52. ISSN 2212-0963

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    Abstract

    It is thought that direct personal experience of extreme weather events could result in greater public engagement and policy response to climate change. Based on this premise, we present a set of future climate scenarios for Ireland communicated in the context of recent, observed extremes. Specifically, we examine the changing likelihood of extreme seasonal conditions in the long-term observational record, and explore how frequently such extremes might occur in a changed Irish climate according to the latest model projec- tions. Over the period (1900–2014) records suggest a greater than 50-fold increase in the likelihood of the warmest recorded summer (1995), whilst the likelihood of the wettest winter (1994/95) and driest summer (1995) has respectively doubled since 1850. The most severe end-of-century climate model projections suggest that summers as cool as 1995 may only occur once every � 7 years, whilst winters as wet as 1994/95 and summers as dry as 1995 may increase by factors of � 8 and � 10 respectively. Contrary to previous research, we find no evidence for increased wintertime storminess as the Irish climate warms, but caution that this conclusion may be an artefact of the metric employed. It is hoped that framing future climate scenarios in the context of extremes from living memory will help communicate the scale of the challenge climate change presents, and in so doing bridge the gap between climate scientists and wider society.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Irish climate change projections; Seasonal analogues; North Atlantic storminess; CMIP5; Extreme seasonal weather; Climate change communication;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 8888
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2016.01.004
    Depositing User: Conor Murphy
    Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2017 13:28
    Journal or Publication Title: Climate Risk Management
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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