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Linking future precipitation changes to weather features in CESM2-LE
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  • Kjersti Konstali,
  • Thomas Spengler,
  • Clemens Spensberger,
  • Asgeir Sorteberg
Kjersti Konstali
University of Bergen

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Thomas Spengler
Universtity Bergen
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Clemens Spensberger
University of Bergen
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Asgeir Sorteberg
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Weather features, such as extratropical cyclones, atmospheric rivers (ARs), and fronts, contribute to substantial amounts of precipitation globally and are associated with different precipitation characteristics. However, future changes as well as the representation of the precipitation characteristics associated with these weather features in climate models remain uncertain. We attribute 6-hourly accumulated precipitation and cyclones, moisture transport axes (AR-like features), fronts, and cold air outbreaks, and the combinations thereof in 10 ensemble members of the CESM2-LE between 1950 and 2100 under the SSP3-7.0 scenario. We find that, despite some biases in both precipitation and weather features, CESM2-LE adeptly represents the precipitation characteristics associated with the different combinations of weather features. The combinations of weather features that contribute most to precipitation in the present climate also contribute the most to future changes, both due to changes in intensity as well as frequency. While the increase in precipitation intensity dominates the overall response for total precipitation in the storm track regions, the precipitation intensity for the individual weather features does not necessarily change significantly. Instead, approximately half of the increase in precipitation intensity in the storm track regions can be attributed to a higher occurrence of the more intensely precipitating combinations of weather features, such as the co-occurrence of extratropical cyclones, fronts, and moisture transport axes.
18 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
21 Mar 2024Published in ESS Open Archive