Hydrometeorological extremes in a future climate

Are extremes intensified in a warming climate?


Why is rain sometimes falling as a light refreshing mist and other times as an all drenching waterfall? The formation of rainfall is affected by all scales, from the smallest microphysical processes to the large scale atmospheric circulation. Further, it is in itself affecting these processes, which makes it a very intricate phenomenon to study. In this research field, we study two main topics: (i) global assessments of rainfall at coarse scales where the focus is mainly on the volume of rainfall, and (ii) regional analysis of small scale extreme events. Both topics employ remote sensing data for assessing the current climate and important processes, and both address changes in rainfall in a warming climate.

Remote analysis for better understanding of precipitation extras

Remote analysis of land and satellite radar precipitation results in far better spatial coverage and often higher resolution than traditional station observations. Long data series with improved quality in different parts of the world means new opportunities to study rainfall systems focusing on their tracking (tracking). Radar and satellite data studies can thus provide a deeper understanding of precipitation extremes and how they are affected by external conditions such as changed temperature, humidity or circulation patterns.

Hydrometeorological extremes on a global scale

HYPE has recently been expanded into a globally comprehensive model using skills to handle bias adjustment, meteorological analysis and hydrological modeling for major ensembles in regions around the world. This provides a unique opportunity to explore hydrometeorological extremes, as well as to evaluate uncertainties in climate projections.

Research and Development questions

  • How can we combine different remote sensors and terrestrial data sets to create better data products (eg hydrology drive data)?

  • What more insight into climate change and future extremes we get through more detailed information about the rain clouds lifecycle?
  • How is the water cycle affected in different parts of the world by global warming?
  • How does regional scaling and bias adjustment affect climate change in different parts of the world? Are we increasing or decreasing the uncertainties?
  • How are the conclusions of a particle ensemble of natural variability affected?

Our core publications in this Scientific focus

Berg, P.; Donnelly, C. & Gustafsson, D. Near-real-time adjusted reanalysis forcing data for hydrology, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Copernicus GmbH, 2018, 22, 989-1000

Berg, P.; Norin, L. & Olsson, J. Creation of a high resolution precipitation data set by merging gridded gauge data and radar observations for Sweden, Journal of Hydrology, 2016, 541, 6-13

Berg, P.; Haerter, J. O.; THejll, P.; Piani, C.; Hagemann, S. & Christensen, J. H. Seasonal characteristics of the relationship between daily precipitation intensity and surface temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research, 2009, 114, 9 PP.

Berg, P.; Moseley, C. & Haerter, J. Strong increase in convective precipitation in response to higher temperatures, Nature Geosci., 2013, 6(3), 181-185

Moseley, C.; Berg, P. & Haerter, J. O. Probing the convection life-cycle by iterative rain cell tracking, Journal of Geophysical Research, 2013, 118, 13361-13370

Moseley, C.; Hohenegger, C.; Berg, P. & Haerter, J. Convective extremes driven by cloud-cloud interaction, Nature Geoscience, 2016, 9, 748-752