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Title: The effect of forced change and unforced variability in heat waves, temperature extremes, and associated population risk in a CO<sub>2</sub>-warmed world
Abstract. This study investigates the impact of global warming on heat and humidityextremes by analyzing 6 h output from 28 members of the Max PlanckInstitute Grand Ensemble driven by forcing from a 1 % yr−1 CO2 increase. We find that unforced variability drives large changes in regional exposure to extremes in different ensemble members, and these variations are mostly associated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability. However, while the unforced variability in the climate can alter the occurrence of extremes regionally, variability within the ensemble decreases significantly as one looks at larger regions or at a global population perspective. This means that, for metrics of extreme heat and humidity analyzed here, forced variability in the climate is more important than the unforced variability at global scales. Lastly, we found that most heat wave metrics will increase significantly between 1.5 and 2.0 ∘C, and that low gross domestic product (GDP) regions show significantly higher risks of facing extreme heat events compared to high GDP regions. Considering the limited economic adaptability of the population to heat extremes, this reinforces the idea that the most severe impacts of climate change may fall mostly on those least capable of adapting.
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Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
11889 to 11904
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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