State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes

Jacob Schewe*, Simon N. Gosling, Christopher Reyer, Fang Zhao, Philippe Ciais, Joshua Elliott, Louis Francois, Veronika Huber, Heike K. Lotze, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Michelle T.H. Van Vliet, Robert Vautard, Yoshihide Wada, Lutz Breuer, Matthias Büchner, David A. Carozza, Jinfeng Chang, Marta Coll, Delphine Deryng, Allard De Wit & 30 others Tyler D. Eddy, Christian Folberth, Katja Frieler, Andrew D. Friend, Dieter Gerten, Lukas Gudmundsson, Naota Hanasaki, Akihiko Ito, Nikolay Khabarov, Hyungjun Kim, Peter Lawrence, Catherine Morfopoulos, Christoph Müller, Hannes Müller Schmied, René Orth, Sebastian Ostberg, Yadu Pokhrel, Thomas A.M. Pugh, Gen Sakurai, Yusuke Satoh, Erwin Schmid, Tobias Stacke, Jeroen Steenbeek, Jörg Steinkamp, Qiuhong Tang, Hanqin Tian, Derek P. Tittensor, Jan Volkholz, Xuhui Wang, Lila Warszawski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1005
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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Climate Change
Climate
climate
Climate change
climate change
Infrared Rays
Water Resources
Droughts
Agriculture
Rivers
Ecosystem
Hot Temperature
Economics
Drought
water resources
river basins
heat
drought
Water resources
agriculture

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Schewe, J., Gosling, S. N., Reyer, C., Zhao, F., Ciais, P., Elliott, J., ... Warszawski, L. (2019). State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes. Nature Communications, 10, [1005]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08745-6
Schewe, Jacob ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Reyer, Christopher ; Zhao, Fang ; Ciais, Philippe ; Elliott, Joshua ; Francois, Louis ; Huber, Veronika ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Seneviratne, Sonia I. ; Van Vliet, Michelle T.H. ; Vautard, Robert ; Wada, Yoshihide ; Breuer, Lutz ; Büchner, Matthias ; Carozza, David A. ; Chang, Jinfeng ; Coll, Marta ; Deryng, Delphine ; De Wit, Allard ; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Folberth, Christian ; Frieler, Katja ; Friend, Andrew D. ; Gerten, Dieter ; Gudmundsson, Lukas ; Hanasaki, Naota ; Ito, Akihiko ; Khabarov, Nikolay ; Kim, Hyungjun ; Lawrence, Peter ; Morfopoulos, Catherine ; Müller, Christoph ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Orth, René ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Pokhrel, Yadu ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. ; Sakurai, Gen ; Satoh, Yusuke ; Schmid, Erwin ; Stacke, Tobias ; Steenbeek, Jeroen ; Steinkamp, Jörg ; Tang, Qiuhong ; Tian, Hanqin ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Volkholz, Jan ; Wang, Xuhui ; Warszawski, Lila. / State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes. In: Nature Communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10.
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title = "State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes",
abstract = "Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.",
author = "Jacob Schewe and Gosling, {Simon N.} and Christopher Reyer and Fang Zhao and Philippe Ciais and Joshua Elliott and Louis Francois and Veronika Huber and Lotze, {Heike K.} and Seneviratne, {Sonia I.} and {Van Vliet}, {Michelle T.H.} and Robert Vautard and Yoshihide Wada and Lutz Breuer and Matthias B{\"u}chner and Carozza, {David A.} and Jinfeng Chang and Marta Coll and Delphine Deryng and {De Wit}, Allard and Eddy, {Tyler D.} and Christian Folberth and Katja Frieler and Friend, {Andrew D.} and Dieter Gerten and Lukas Gudmundsson and Naota Hanasaki and Akihiko Ito and Nikolay Khabarov and Hyungjun Kim and Peter Lawrence and Catherine Morfopoulos and Christoph M{\"u}ller and {M{\"u}ller Schmied}, Hannes and Ren{\'e} Orth and Sebastian Ostberg and Yadu Pokhrel and Pugh, {Thomas A.M.} and Gen Sakurai and Yusuke Satoh and Erwin Schmid and Tobias Stacke and Jeroen Steenbeek and J{\"o}rg Steinkamp and Qiuhong Tang and Hanqin Tian and Tittensor, {Derek P.} and Jan Volkholz and Xuhui Wang and Lila Warszawski",
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Schewe, J, Gosling, SN, Reyer, C, Zhao, F, Ciais, P, Elliott, J, Francois, L, Huber, V, Lotze, HK, Seneviratne, SI, Van Vliet, MTH, Vautard, R, Wada, Y, Breuer, L, Büchner, M, Carozza, DA, Chang, J, Coll, M, Deryng, D, De Wit, A, Eddy, TD, Folberth, C, Frieler, K, Friend, AD, Gerten, D, Gudmundsson, L, Hanasaki, N, Ito, A, Khabarov, N, Kim, H, Lawrence, P, Morfopoulos, C, Müller, C, Müller Schmied, H, Orth, R, Ostberg, S, Pokhrel, Y, Pugh, TAM, Sakurai, G, Satoh, Y, Schmid, E, Stacke, T, Steenbeek, J, Steinkamp, J, Tang, Q, Tian, H, Tittensor, DP, Volkholz, J, Wang, X & Warszawski, L 2019, 'State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes', Nature Communications, vol. 10, 1005. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08745-6

State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes. / Schewe, Jacob; Gosling, Simon N.; Reyer, Christopher; Zhao, Fang; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Francois, Louis; Huber, Veronika; Lotze, Heike K.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; Van Vliet, Michelle T.H.; Vautard, Robert; Wada, Yoshihide; Breuer, Lutz; Büchner, Matthias; Carozza, David A.; Chang, Jinfeng; Coll, Marta; Deryng, Delphine; De Wit, Allard; Eddy, Tyler D.; Folberth, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Friend, Andrew D.; Gerten, Dieter; Gudmundsson, Lukas; Hanasaki, Naota; Ito, Akihiko; Khabarov, Nikolay; Kim, Hyungjun; Lawrence, Peter; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Müller, Christoph; Müller Schmied, Hannes; Orth, René; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pokhrel, Yadu; Pugh, Thomas A.M.; Sakurai, Gen; Satoh, Yusuke; Schmid, Erwin; Stacke, Tobias; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tang, Qiuhong; Tian, Hanqin; Tittensor, Derek P.; Volkholz, Jan; Wang, Xuhui; Warszawski, Lila.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 10, 1005, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes

AU - Schewe, Jacob

AU - Gosling, Simon N.

AU - Reyer, Christopher

AU - Zhao, Fang

AU - Ciais, Philippe

AU - Elliott, Joshua

AU - Francois, Louis

AU - Huber, Veronika

AU - Lotze, Heike K.

AU - Seneviratne, Sonia I.

AU - Van Vliet, Michelle T.H.

AU - Vautard, Robert

AU - Wada, Yoshihide

AU - Breuer, Lutz

AU - Büchner, Matthias

AU - Carozza, David A.

AU - Chang, Jinfeng

AU - Coll, Marta

AU - Deryng, Delphine

AU - De Wit, Allard

AU - Eddy, Tyler D.

AU - Folberth, Christian

AU - Frieler, Katja

AU - Friend, Andrew D.

AU - Gerten, Dieter

AU - Gudmundsson, Lukas

AU - Hanasaki, Naota

AU - Ito, Akihiko

AU - Khabarov, Nikolay

AU - Kim, Hyungjun

AU - Lawrence, Peter

AU - Morfopoulos, Catherine

AU - Müller, Christoph

AU - Müller Schmied, Hannes

AU - Orth, René

AU - Ostberg, Sebastian

AU - Pokhrel, Yadu

AU - Pugh, Thomas A.M.

AU - Sakurai, Gen

AU - Satoh, Yusuke

AU - Schmid, Erwin

AU - Stacke, Tobias

AU - Steenbeek, Jeroen

AU - Steinkamp, Jörg

AU - Tang, Qiuhong

AU - Tian, Hanqin

AU - Tittensor, Derek P.

AU - Volkholz, Jan

AU - Wang, Xuhui

AU - Warszawski, Lila

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.

AB - Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.

U2 - 10.1038/s41467-019-08745-6

DO - 10.1038/s41467-019-08745-6

M3 - Article

VL - 10

JO - Nature Communications

JF - Nature Communications

SN - 2041-1723

M1 - 1005

ER -