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Limits to the quantification of local climate change

Chapman, Sandra C., Stainforth, David A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6476-733X and Watkins, Nicholas W. ORCID: 0000-0003-4484-6588 (2015) Limits to the quantification of local climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 10 (9). 094018. ISSN 1748-9326

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Identification Number: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094018


We demonstrate how the fundamental timescales of anthropogenic climate change limit the identification of societally relevant aspects of changes in precipitation.Weshow that it is nevertheless possible to extract, solely from observations, some confident quantified assessments of change at certain thresholds and locations. Maps of such changes, for a variety of hydrologically-relevant, threshold-dependent metrics, are presented. In places in Scotland, for instance, the total precipitation on heavy rainfall days in winter has increased by more than 50%, but only in some locations has this been accompanied by a substantial increase in total seasonal precipitation; an important distinction for water and land management. These results are important for the presentation of scientific data by climate services, as a benchmark requirement for models which are used to provide projections on local scales, and for process-based climate and impacts research to understand local modulation of synoptic and global scale climate. They are a critical foundation for adaptation planning and for the scientific provision of locally relevant information about future climate.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 09:25
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 20:45
Projects: ES/K006576/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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