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Linkage of future regional climate extremes to global warming intensity

Xiaoxin Wang*, Xianmei Lang*, Dabang Jiang

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Based on the daily minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation outputs from 25 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models under the Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 (RCP8.5) scenario, we project the linkage of future regional climate extremes to the global mean temperature increase above preindustrial levels. The results showed that regionally averaged changes in the absolute temperature extremes (the coldest night and the warmest day) scale linearly with global warming intensity. In contrast, changes in cold nights and cold days in all regions, warm nights in low latitudes, and warm days in Southeast Asia exhibit nonlinear relationships with the global mean temperature increase, which manifests rapid changes in early warming stages and weak changes in late warming stages. The percentile-based temperature extremes vary at large magnitudes as global warming intensifies in low latitudes, while large values are seen in middle and high latitudes for the coldest night and warmest day, respectively; large intermodel spread occurs in the strong scaling areas, except for cold days and cold nights. The regional mean changes in extreme precipitation show consistent linear trends with global warming, and different indices vary in magnitude with region. Extreme heavy precipitation events increase linearly with global warming in high latitudes with larger magnitudes. The intermodel spread is generally large in low latitudes and will increase with warming.