Paper presents tool for assessing risk of hydro-meteorological extremes in UK

Extreme weather events such as droughts and heavy precipitation can have large impacts on society and the economy, so ensuring that society is well prepared to face such events will have multiple benefits.

Anthropogenic climate change is expected to have an impact on these types of events: warm temperature extremes and heavy precipitation extremes have been shown to have increased due to human greenhouse gas emissions and these are projected to increase in the future (IPCC, 2013).

Properly assessing the associated impacts and uncertainties is critical for adequate adaptation, however, the application of risk-based approaches often requires large sets of extreme events, which are not commonly available.

A new paper co-authored by researchers presents just such a large set of hydro-meteorological time series for recent past and future conditions for the United Kingdom based on weather@home2, a modelling framework consisting of a global climate model driven by observed or projected sea surface temperature and sea ice which is downscaled to 25 km over the European domain by a regional climate model.

Future projections show small precipitation increases in winter but large decreases in summer on average, leading to an overall drying, consistent with the most recent UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) but larger in magnitude than the latter. Both drought and high-precipitation events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity in most regions, highlighting the need for appropriate adaptation measures.

Overall, the presented dataset is a useful tool for assessing the risk associated with drought and more generally with hydro-meteorological extremes in the UK.


A large set of potential past, present and future hydro-meteorological time series for the UK

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 25 Jan 2018

Benoit P. Guillod1,a,b, Richard G. Jones2,3, Simon J. Dadson3, Gemma Coxon4, Gianbattista Bussi3, James Freer4, Alison L. Kay5, Neil R. Massey1, Sarah N. Sparrow6, David C. H. Wallom6, Myles R. Allen1, and Jim W. Hall1

1 Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK
Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
currently at: Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
currently at: Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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