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Assessments of wind extremes in CMIP5 climate model hindcasts

23 Jun 2021 | Science Notes

From CO2Science: As almost everyone knows, nearly every aspect of weather imaginable is predicted by climate models to become worse in response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment; and, therefore, CO2Science reports on the findings of Kumar et al. (2015), who focused their attention on the little-studied subject of wind extremes. So what, precisely, did they do? And what did they find?

Paper Reviewed: Kumar, D., Mishra, V. and Ganguly, A.R. 2015. Evaluating wind extremes in CMIP5 climate models. Climate Dynamics 45: 441-453.

As they describe it, the three researchers evaluated the performance of the (then) latest generation of Global Climate Models or GCMs that comprise the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5), focusing on the subject of “extreme winds.” And the results?

Kumar et al. report that “historical temporal trends in annual maximum wind speeds for the reanalysis data, ERA-Interim, are not well represented in the GCMs.” In fact, they write that “projected extreme winds from GCMs exhibit statistically less significant trends compared to the historical reference period,” further noting that “a decline in the magnitude of mean and strong near-surface wind speeds over many regions of the Northern Hemisphere (Vautard et al., 2010) and the United States (Pryor et al., 2009) has been recently reported using station data.”

And so they conclude the abstract of their paper by stating that “the projected extreme winds from GCMs exhibit statistically less significant trends compared to the historical reference period.”

References
Pryor, S.C., Barthelmie, R.J., Young, D.T., Takle, E.S., Arritt, R.W., Flory, D., Gutowski Jr., W.J., Nunes, A. and Roads, J. 2009. Wind speed trends over the contiguous United States. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 114: 10.1029/2008JD011416.

Vautard, R., Caltiaux, J., Yiou, P., Thépaut, J.N. and Ciais. P. 2010. Northern Hemisphere atmospheric stilling partly attributed to an increase in surface roughness. Nature Geoscience 3: 756-761.

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