Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
Special issue:
ESD Ideas
 | Highlight paper
18 Oct 2023
ESD Ideas | Highlight paper |  | 18 Oct 2023

ESD Ideas: Translating historical extreme weather events into a warmer world

Ed Hawkins, Gilbert P. Compo, and Prashant D. Sardeshmukh

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Uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing impacts the simulated global monsoon in the 20th century
Jonathan K. P. Shonk, Andrew G. Turner, Amulya Chevuturi, Laura J. Wilcox, Andrea J. Dittus, and Ed Hawkins
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Cited articles

Cattiaux, J., Vautard, R., Cassou, C., Yiou, P., Masson-Delmotte, V., and Codron, F.: Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, 20704,, 2010. 
Compo, G. P. and Sardeshmukh, P. D.: Oceanic influences on recent continental warming, Clim. Dynam., 32, 333–342,, 2009. 
Faranda, D., Bourdin, S., Ginesta, M., Krouma, M., Noyelle, R., Pons, F., Yiou, P., and Messori, G.: A climate-change attribution retrospective of some impactful weather extremes of 2021, Weather and Climate Dynamics, 3, 1311–1340,, 2022. 
Ginesta, M., Yiou, P., Messori, G., and Faranda, D.: A methodology for attributing severe extratropical cyclones to climate change based on reanalysis data: the case study of storm Alex 2020, Clim. Dynam., 61, 229–253,, 2023. 
Hawkins, E.: Ulysses Storm Data v2.0, Zenodo [data set],, 2023. 
Chief editor
This paper proposes a novel method for translating past observed extreme weather events into current or future climates. It illustrates this with the analysis of an extreme windstorm that occurred in 1903. The latter storm would likely be more damaging if it occurred today rather than 120 years ago.
Short summary
Adapting to climate change requires an understanding of how extreme weather events are changing. We propose a new approach to examine how the consequences of a particular weather pattern have been made worse by climate change, using an example of a severe windstorm that occurred in 1903. When this storm is translated into a warmer world, it produces higher wind speeds and increased rainfall, suggesting that this storm would be more damaging if it occurred today rather than 120 years ago.
Special issue
Final-revised paper