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Projections of Cold Air Outbreaks from Shared Socioeconomic Pathways in CMIP6 Earth System Models
  • Erik T Smith,
  • Scott C Sheridan
Erik T Smith
Kent State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Scott C Sheridan
Kent State
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Historical and future simulated temperature data from five climate models in the Coupled Model Intercomparing Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) are used to understand how climate change might alter cold air outbreaks (CAOs) in the future. Three different Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), SSP 1 – 2.6, SSP 2 – 4.5, and SSP 5 – 8.5 are examined to identify potential fluctuations in CAOs across the globe between 2015 and 2054. Though CAOs may remain persistent or even increase in some regions through 2040, all five climate models show CAOs disappearing by 2054. Climate models were able to accurately simulate the spatial distribution and trends of historical CAOs, but there were large errors in the simulated interannual frequency of CAOs in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Fluctuations in complex processes, such as Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, may be contributing to each model’s inability to simulate historical CAOs in these regions.