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Journalpaper

Climate hazard indices projections based on CORDEX-CORE, CMIP5 and CMIP6 ensemble

Abstract

The CORDEX-CORE initiative was developed with the aim of producing homogeneous regional climate model (RCM) projections over domains world wide. In its first phase, two RCMs were run at 0.22° resolution downscaling 3 global climate models (GCMs) from the CMIP5 program for 9 CORDEX domains and two climate scenarios, the RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. The CORDEX-CORE simulations along with the CMIP5 GCM ensemble and the most recently produced CMIP6 GCM ensemble are analyzed, with focus on several temperature, heat, wet and dry hazard indicators for present day and mid-century and far future time slices. The CORDEX-CORE ensemble shows a better performance than the driving GCMs for several hazard indices due to its higher spatial resolution. For the far future time slice the 3 ensembles project an increase in all temperature and heat indices analyzed under the RCP8.5 scenario. The largest increases are always shown by the CMIP6 ensemble, except for Tx > 35 °C, for which the CORDEX-CORE projects higher warming. Extreme wet and flood prone maxima are projected to increase by the RCM ensemble over the la Plata basin in South America, the Congo basin in Africa, east North America, north east Europe, India and Indochina, regions where a better performance is obtained, whereas the GCM ensembles show small or negligible signals. Compound hazard hotspots based on heat, drought and wet indicators are detected in each continent worldwide in region like Central America, the Amazon, the Mediterranean, South Africa and Australia, where a linear relation is shown between the heatwave and drought change signal, and region like Arabian peninsula, the central and south east Africa region (SEAF), the north west America (NWN), south east Asia, India, China and central and northern European regions (WCE, NEU) where the same linear relation is found for extreme precipitation and HW increases. Although still limited, the CORDEX-CORE initiative was able to produce high resolution climate projections with almost global coverage and can provide an important resource for impact assessment and climate service activities.
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