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Changes in temperature and rainfall extremes across East Asia in the CMIP5 ensemble

Abstract

We analyze annual extremes of daily maximum and minimum surface air temperature and of daily rainfall in East Asia and the Korean peninsula. This study made intensive use of the simulation data available from the CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) multimodels in historical and future experiments up to the year 2100, employing three different radiative forcings: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 (representative concentration pathways). Several reanalysis datasets are used to compare and evaluate the simulated climate extremes in the late twentieth century. We estimate the future changes in precipitation and temperature extremes in East Asia and Korea, and compare them to the global result, for the reference period 1986–2005. The rising rate of future cold extremes over East Asia and Korea is faster than that of warm extremes. This phenomenon appears more distinctly in Korea as a local scale, indicating more sensitivity of the Korean peninsula to global warming. The increase of the 20-year return level of maximum precipitation in the CMIP5 over East Asia by the end of twenty-first century is about 7% in the RCP2.6, 15% in the RCP4.5, and 35% in the RCP8.5 experiments, which exceed the corresponding global values. We also estimate the changes in precipitation extremes across East Asia as a function of the annual mean temperature variation at the same location. The CMIP5 sensitivity in maximum precipitation across East Asia is 5.5%/C, which is lower than the global figure (5.8%/C). The sensitivity for the Korean peninsula is 7.38%/C, indicating the strong impact of global warming to Korea. The results will be important in mitigating the detrimental effects of variations of climatic extremes and in improving the regional strategy for water resource and eco-environmental management, particularly for such areas in East Asia under significant changes in temperature and rainfall extremes.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the reviewers, the associate editor, and the editor for helpful suggestions, which have greatly improved the presentation of this paper. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP5, the U.S. Department of Energy Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The authors are grateful to Prof. Il-ung Chung who provided valuable comments to improve this paper.

Funding

This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMI2018-03414, and supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No.2016R1A2B4014518).

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Correspondence to Jeong-Soo Park.

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Lee, Y., Paek, J., Park, JS. et al. Changes in temperature and rainfall extremes across East Asia in the CMIP5 ensemble. Theor Appl Climatol 141, 143–155 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03180-w

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Keywords

  • Annual maximum daily precipitation
  • Annual extremes of temperature
  • Generalized extreme value distribution
  • Multimodel median
  • L-moments estimation
  • Relative change
  • Taylor diagram