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  1. Abstract Increases in climate hazards and their impacts mark one of the major challenges of climate change. Situations in which hazards occur close enough to one another to result in amplified impacts, because systems are insufficiently resilient or because hazards themselves are made more severe, are of special concern. We consider projected changes in such compounding hazards using the Max Planck Institute Grand Ensemble under a moderate (RCP4.5) emissions scenario, which produces warming of about 2.25 °C between pre-industrial (1851–1880) and 2100. We find that extreme heat events occurring on three or more consecutive days increase in frequency by 100%–300%, and consecutive extreme precipitation events increase in most regions, nearly doubling for some. The chance of concurrent heat and drought leading to simultaneous maize failures in three or more breadbasket regions approximately doubles, while interannual wet-dry oscillations become at least 20% more likely across much of the subtropics. Our results highlight the importance of taking compounding climate extremes into account when looking at possible tipping points of socio-environmental systems.
  2. Abstract Statistical relationships between atmospheric rivers (ARs) and extratropical cyclones and anticyclones are investigated on a global scale using objectively identified ARs, cyclones, and anticyclones during 1979–2014. Composites of circulation and moisture fields around the ARs show that a strong cyclone is located poleward and westward of the AR centroid, which confirms the close link between the AR and extratropical cyclone. In addition, a pronounced anticyclone is found to be located equatorward and eastward of the AR, whose presence together with the cyclone leads to strong horizontal pressure gradient that forces moisture to be transported along a narrow corridor within the warm sector of the cyclone. This anticyclone located toward the downstream equatorward side of the cyclone is found to be missing for cyclones not associated with ARs. These key features are robust in composites performed in different hemispheres, over different ocean basins, and with respect to different AR intensities. Furthermore, correlation analysis shows that the AR intensity is much better correlated with the pressure gradient between the cyclone and anticyclone than with the cyclone/anticyclone intensity alone, although stronger cyclones favor the occurrence of AR. The importance of the horizontal pressure gradient in the formation of the AR is alsomore »consistent with the fact that climatologically ARs are frequently found over the region between the polar lows and subtropical highs in all seasons.« less