A sixfold rise in concurrent day and night-time heatwaves in India under 2?°C warming.
ABSTRACT: Heatwaves with severe impacts have increased and projected to become more frequent under warming climate in India. Concurrent day and nighttime heatwaves can exacerbate human discomfort causing high morbidity and mortality; however, their changes in the observed and projected climate remain unrecognized. Here using observations and model simulations from climate of 20th century plus (C20C+) detection and attribution (D&A) and coupled model intercomparison project 5 (CMIP5) projects, we show that 1 and 3-day concurrent hot day and hot night (CHDHN) events have significantly increased during the observed climate in India. Our results show that the anthropogenic emissions contribute considerably to the increase of 1 and 3-day CHDHN events in India. The frequency of 3-day CHDHN events is projected to increase 12-fold of the current level by the end of 21st century and 4-fold by the mid 21st century under the high emission pathway of RCP 8.5. The increase in 3-day CHDHN events can be limited to only 2-fold by the end of 21st century under low emission scenario of RCP 2.6. One and 3-day CHDHN events are projected to increase by 4, 6, and 8 folds of the current level in India under the 1.5, 2, and 3?°C warming worlds, respectively. Restricting global mean temperature below 1.5° from the pre-industrial level can substantially reduce the risk of 1 and 3-day CHDHN events and associated implications in India.
Project description:Hydropower is a valuable renewable energy resource in India, which can help in climate change mitigation and meet the increasing energy demands. However, the crucial role of climate change on hydropower production in India remains unexplored. Here using the observations and model simulations, we show that seven large hydropower projects experienced a significant (p-value?<?0.05) warming and a decline in precipitation and streamflow during the observed period of 1951-2007. However, all the hydropower projects are projected to experience a warmer and wetter climate in the future. Multimodel ensemble mean annual average temperature (precipitation) is projected to rise up to 6.3?±?1.6?°C (18?±?14.6%) in the catchments upstream of the other reservoirs by the end of the 21st century under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. Due to the projected increase in precipitation, mean annual streamflow (up to +45%) and hydropower (up to +25%) production are projected to rise under the future climate. However, significant warming (6.25?±?1.62?°C) is projected to result in a decline in streamflow and hydropower production in May- June for snow-dominated Nathpa Jhakri and Bhakra Nangal hydropower projects. Our results provide insights into the development and planning of hydropower projects in India under the current projected future climate.
Project description:In the purview of global warming, the present study attempts to project changes in climate and quantify the changes in aridity of two coastal districts in south India under the RCP 4.5 trajectory. Projected climate change output generated by RegCM 4.4 model, pertaining to 14 grid points located within the study area, was analyzed and processed for this purpose. The meteorological parameters temperature and precipitations were used to create De Martonne Aridity Index, to assess the spatial distribution of aridity. The original index values ranged from 13.7 to 16.4 mm/°C, characterizing this area as a semidry climate. The outcome from the changed scenario analysis under RCP 4.5 showed that, during the end of the 21st century, the aridity may be increased more as the index values tend to reduce. The increasing trend in the drying phenomenon may be attributed to the rising of mean annual temperatures.
Project description:The Tibetan Plateau is an important component of the global carbon cycle due to the large permafrost carbon pool and its vulnerability to climate warming. The Tibetan Plateau has experienced a noticeable warming over the past few decades and is projected to continue warming in the future. However, the direction and magnitude of carbon fluxes responses to climate change and elevated CO2 concentration under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios in the Tibetan Plateau grassland are poorly known. Here, we used a calibrated and validated biogeochemistry model, CENTURY, to quantify the contributions of climate change and elevated CO2 on the future carbon budget in the alpine grassland under three RCP scenarios. Though the Tibetan Plateau grassland was projected a net carbon sink of 16 ~ 25 Tg C yr-1 in the 21st century, the capacity of carbon sequestration was predicted to decrease gradually because climate-driven increases in heterotrophic respiration (Rh) (with linear slopes 0.49 ~ 1.62 g C m-2 yr-1) was greater than the net primary production (NPP) (0.35 ~ 1.52 g C m-2 yr-1). However, the elevated CO2 contributed more to plant growth (1.9% ~ 7.3%) than decomposition (1.7% ~ 6.1%), which could offset the warming-induced carbon loss. The interannual and decadal-scale dynamics of the carbon fluxes in the alpine grassland were primarily controlled by temperature, while the role of precipitation became increasingly important in modulating carbon cycle. The strengthened correlation between precipitation and carbon budget suggested that further research should consider the performance of precipitation in evaluating carbon dynamics in a warmer climate scenario.
Project description:As a result of global increases in both temperature and specific humidity, heat stress is projected to intensify throughout the 21st century. Some of the regions most susceptible to dangerous heat and humidity combinations are also among the most densely populated. Consequently, there is the potential for widespread exposure to wet bulb temperatures that approach and in some cases exceed postulated theoretical limits of human tolerance by mid- to late-century. We project that by 2080 the relative frequency of present-day extreme wet bulb temperature events could rise by a factor of 100 - 250 (approximately double the frequency change projected for temperature alone) in the tropics and parts of the mid-latitudes, areas which are projected to contain approximately half the world's population. In addition, population exposure to wet bulb temperatures that exceed recent deadly heat waves may increase by a factor of five to ten, with 150 - 750 million person-days of exposure to wet bulb temperatures above those seen in today's most severe heat waves by 2070 - 2080. Under RCP 8.5, exposure to wet bulb temperatures above 35°C - the theoretical limit for human tolerance - could exceed a million person-days per year by 2080. Limiting emissions to follow RCP 4.5 entirely eliminates exposure to that extreme threshold. Some of the most affected regions, especially Northeast India and coastal West Africa, currently have scarce cooling infrastructure, relatively low adaptive capacity, and rapidly growing populations. In the coming decades heat stress may prove to be one of the most widely experienced and directly dangerous aspects of climate change, posing a severe threat to human health, energy infrastructure, and outdoor activities ranging from agricultural production to military training.
Project description:Modern reef-building corals sustain a wide range of ecosystem services because of their ability to build calcium carbonate reef systems. The influence of environmental variables on coral calcification rates has been extensively studied, but our understanding of their relative importance is limited by the absence of in situ observations and the ability to decouple the interactions between different properties. We show that temperature is the primary driver of coral colony (Porites astreoides and Diploria labyrinthiformis) and reef-scale calcification rates over a 2-year monitoring period from the Bermuda coral reef. On the basis of multimodel climate simulations (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) and assuming sufficient coral nutrition, our results suggest that P. astreoides and D. labyrinthiformis coral calcification rates in Bermuda could increase throughout the 21st century as a result of gradual warming predicted under a minimum CO2 emissions pathway [representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6] with positive 21st-century calcification rates potentially maintained under a reduced CO2 emissions pathway (RCP 4.5). These results highlight the potential benefits of rapid reductions in global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 21st-century Bermuda coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide.
Project description:Uncertainties in Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios and Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) melt propagate into uncertainties in projected mean sea-level (MSL) changes and extreme sea-level (ESL) events. Here we quantify the impact of RCP scenarios and AIS contributions on 21st-century ESL changes at tide-gauge sites across the globe using extreme-value statistics. We find that even under RCP2.6, almost half of the sites could be exposed annually to a present-day 100-year ESL event by 2050. Most tropical sites face large increases in ESL events earlier and for scenarios with smaller MSL changes than extratropical sites. Strong emission reductions lower the probability of large ESL changes but due to AIS uncertainties, cannot fully eliminate the probability that large increases in frequencies of ESL events will occur. Under RCP8.5 and rapid AIS mass loss, many tropical sites, including low-lying islands face a MSL rise by 2100 that exceeds the present-day 100-year event level.
Project description:Climate models show a conspicuous summer warm and dry bias over the central United States. Using results from 19 climate models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we report a persistent dependence of warm bias on dry bias with the precipitation deficit leading the warm bias over this region. The precipitation deficit is associated with the widespread failure of models in capturing strong rainfall events in summer over the central U.S. A robust linear relationship between the projected warming and the present-day warm bias enables us to empirically correct future temperature projections. By the end of the 21st century under the RCP8.5 scenario, the corrections substantially narrow the intermodel spread of the projections and reduce the projected temperature by 2.5?K, resulting mainly from the removal of the warm bias. Instead of a sharp decrease, after this correction the projected precipitation is nearly neutral for all scenarios.Climate models repeatedly show a warm and dry bias over the central United States, but the origin of this bias remains unclear. Here the authors associate this bias to precipitation deficits in models and after applying a correction, projected precipitation in this region shows no significant changes.
Project description:It has been widely believed that the tropical Pacific trade winds weakened in the last century and would further decrease under a warmer climate in the 21st century. Recent high-quality observations, however, suggest that the tropical Pacific winds have actually strengthened in the past two decades. Precise causes of the recent Pacific climate shift are uncertain. Here we explore how the enhanced tropical Indian Ocean warming in recent decades favors stronger trade winds in the western Pacific via the atmosphere and hence is likely to have contributed to the La Niña-like state (with enhanced east-west Walker circulation) through the Pacific ocean-atmosphere interactions. Further analysis, based on 163 climate model simulations with centennial historical and projected external radiative forcing, suggests that the Indian Ocean warming relative to the Pacific's could play an important role in modulating the Pacific climate changes in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Project description:Intermittent disruptions to rainfall patterns and intensity over the Pacific Ocean lasting up to ? 1 year have major impacts on severe weather, agricultural production, ecosystems, and disease within the Pacific, and in many countries beyond. The frequency with which major disruptions to Pacific rainfall occur has been projected to increase over the 21st century, in response to global warming caused by large 21st century greenhouse gas emissions. Here we use the latest generation of climate models to show that humans may have contributed to the major disruption that occurred in the real world during the late 20th century. We demonstrate that although marked and sustained reductions in 21st century anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions can greatly moderate the likelihood of major disruption, elevated risk of occurrence appears locked in now, and for at least the remainder of the 21st century.
Project description:Previous studies have focused on changes in the geographical distribution of terrestrial biomes and species targeted by marine capture fisheries due to climate change impacts. Given mariculture's substantial contribution to global seafood production and its growing significance in recent decades, it is essential to evaluate the effects of climate change on mariculture and their socio-economic consequences. Here, we projected climate change impacts on the marine aquaculture diversity for 85 of the currently most commonly farmed fish and invertebrate species in the world's coastal and/or open ocean areas. Results of ensemble projections from three Earth system models and three species distribution models show that climate change may lead to a substantial redistribution of mariculture species richness potential, with an average of 10%-40% decline in the number of species being potentially suitable to be farmed in tropical to subtropical regions. In contrast, mariculture species richness potential is projected to increase by about 40% at higher latitudes under the 'no mitigation policy' scenario (RCP 8.5) by the mid-21st century. In Exclusive Economic Zones where mariculture is currently undertaken, we projected an average future decline of 1.3% and 5% in mariculture species richness potential under RCP 2.6 ('strong mitigation') and RCP 8.5 scenarios, respectively, by the 2050s relative to the 2000s. Our findings highlight the opportunities and challenges for climate adaptation in the mariculture sector through the redistribution of farmed species and expansion of mariculture locations. Our results can help inform adaptation planning and governance mechanisms to minimize local environmental impacts and potential conflicts with other marine and coastal sectors in the future.