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compound Climate Extremes in North America and Europe: from dynamics to predictability

Project description

New tools to predict climate extremes

Climate change remains one of the most challenging problems facing society. While our understanding of the causes of climate change has progressed significantly, the World Climate Research Programme has stressed the need to further our knowledge of current and future climate extremes. The EU-funded CENAE project will shed light on how different climate extremes (cold spells, heavy rains and strong winds) interact and result in compound extremes with a larger socioeconomic impact than the sum of their individual components. The multivariate nature and inherent rarity of the compound extremes poses a formidable challenge to current analysis techniques. The project will develop tools based on dynamical systems and machine learning to analyse climate extremes. These tools will be highly flexible and applicable to multivariate extremes beyond climate science.

Objective

Different climate extremes, such as heavy rains and strong winds, can interact and result in compound extremes with a larger socio-economic impact than the sum of their individual components. Elucidating the nature of these compound extremes is both a key step in furthering our scientific understanding of the climate system and a societally relevant goal. However, it is not easily realised, as the multivariate nature and inherent rarity of the compound extremes poses a formidable challenge to current analysis techniques.
In CENÆ I aim to provide a step-change in our understanding of the drivers and predictability of compound climate extremes, and illuminate how climate change may affect these two aspects. I will specifically focus on two high-impact compound extremes which have occurred with an ostensibly high frequency in recent years: (i) wintertime wet and windy extremes in Europe; and (ii) same as (i) but with the additional occurrence of (near-)simultaneous cold spells in North America.
CENÆ builds upon my ongoing contribution to developing dynamical systems analysis tools for climate extremes. It further leverages the work of my research group on the atmospheric circulation and machine learning for the study of atmospheric predictability. I will use this interdisciplinary knowledge base to elucidate the atmospheric precursors to compound extremes, provide a nuanced understanding of their predictability and point to new predictability pathways. The analysis framework I will develop in CENÆ will be highly flexible and applicable to multivariate extremes beyond climate science.
This effort is timely: the World Climate Research Programme has highlighted understanding current and future climate extremes as a grand challenge of climate science. Moreover, my unconventional research in dynamical systems and machine learning has opened up previously unforeseen opportunities for the study of compound climate extremes which should be rapidly and systematically exploited.

Host institution

UPPSALA UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 1 492 660,00
Address
VON KRAEMERS ALLE 4
751 05 Uppsala
Sweden

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Region
Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Uppsala län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 1 492 660,00

Beneficiaries (1)