CEE Summer Seminar: Multivariate Climate Extremes & Associated Impacts

Engineering Gateway 4171 (CEE Conference Room)
Jokab Zscheischler, Ph.D.

ETH Zurich
Department of Environmental Systems Science

Abstract: Climate extremes such as drought, heatwaves, floods and storms can strongly affect natural and human systems. If climate extremes co-occur, their impacts often are disproportionally large. In addition, if such extremes are correlated, risks of impacts are underestimated if the variables are treated in isolation. For instance, extremely hot and dry conditions often are correlated and their concurrent occurrence leads to devastating impacts. In this talk I will show how bivariate return periods of temperature and precipitation offer new avenues to study climate related variability in impact variables. Under a strong greenhouse-gas emission scenario, the dependence between summer temperature and precipitation intensifies, leading to more frequent extremely hot and dry summers. Hence, even if systems adapt to a new climate in the future, they need to deal with more frequent compound extreme conditions.