Hydroclimate: Understanding rainfall extremes

Warming induced by greenhouse gases will increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, causing heavier rainfall events. Changing atmospheric circulation dynamics are now shown to either amplify or weaken regional increases, contributing to uncertainty in future precipitation extremes.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3305


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Australian climate extremes at 1.5 °C and 2 °C of global warming

Limiting warming to 1.5 °C is expected to lessen the risk of extreme events, relative to 2 °C. Considering Australia, this work shows a decrease of about 25% in the likelihood of record heat, both air and sea surface, if warming is limited to 1.5 °C.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3296


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Understanding the regional pattern of projected future changes in extreme precipitation

Regional projections of daily extreme precipitation are uncertain, but can be decomposed into thermodynamic and dynamic contributions to improve understanding. While thermodynamics alone uniformly increase extreme precipitation, dynamical processes introduce regional variations.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3287


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Climate negotiators’ and scientists’ assessments of the climate negotiations

It is difficult to objectively evaluate climate negotiation outcomes. This study shows that climate negotiation participants are pessimistic about the specific approach of voluntary pledges, but are optimistic about the general usefulness of negotiations, particularly if they are more involved.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3288


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Biogeochemistry: Tracing carbon fixation

Land surface models show large divergences in simulating the terrestrial carbon cycle. Atmospheric observations of the tracer carbonyl sulfide allow selection of the most realistic models.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3295


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Ecohydrology: When will the jungle burn?

Fire weather indices are unsuited to forecast fire in tropical rainforests. Now research shows the area burnt across Borneo is related to drought-depleted water tables, presenting the opportunity to predict fire danger in these environments.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3284


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Amplification of wildfire area burnt by hydrological drought in the humid tropics

Predictions of fire-burnt areas are typically based on climate data. Including hydrological processes in models improves projections of burnt area in Borneo, with large wildfires clustered in years of hydrological drought associated with strong El Niño events.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3280


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Peak growing season gross uptake of carbon in North America is largest in the Midwest USA

Using carbonyl sulfide as a tracer, gross primary production in the Midwest USA is shown to significantly exceed that of any other region of North America. This approach provides a valuable means of assessing the regional accuracy of ecosystem land models.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3272


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Water resources: Future Nile river flows

Climate change is projected to increase annual Nile river flow; importantly, year-to-year variability is also expected to increase markedly. More variable flows could present a challenge for consistent water resource provision in this region.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3285


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Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands

Atmospheric CO2 concentration measurements at Barrow, Alaska, together with coupled atmospheric transport and terrestrial ecosystem models show a declining spring net primary productivity response to temperature at high latitudes.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3277


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