16 Dec 2022
 | 16 Dec 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Future heat extremes and impacts in a convection permitting climate ensemble over Germany

Marie Hundhausen, Hendrik Feldmann, Natalie Laube, and Joaquim G. Pinto

Abstract. Heat extremes and associated impacts are considered the most pressing issue for German regional governments with respect to climate adaptation. We explore the potential of an unique high-resolution convection permitting (2.8 km), multi-GCM ensemble with COSMO-CLM regional simulations (1971–2100) over Germany regarding heat extremes and related impacts. We find an improved mean temperature beyond the effect of a better representation of orography on the convection permitting scale, with reduced bias particularly during summer. The projected increase in temperature and its variance favors the development of longer and hotter heat waves, especially in late summer and early autumn. In a 2° (3°) warmer world, a 26 % (100 %) increase in the Heat Wave Magnitude Index is anticipated. Human heat stress (UTCI > 32°C) and local-specific parameters tailored to climate adaptation, revealed a dependency on the major landscapes, resulting in significant higher heat exposure in flat regions as the Rhine Valley, accompanied by the strongest absolute increase. A non-linear, exponential increase is anticipated for parameters characterizing strong heat stress (UTCI > 32°C, tropical nights, very hot days). Providing local-specific and tailored climate information, we demonstrate the potential of convection permitting simulations to facilitate improved impact studies and narrow the gap between climate modelling and stakeholder requirements for climate adaptation.

Marie Hundhausen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-283', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Jan 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Marie Hundhausen, 24 Mar 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-283', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Jan 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Marie Hundhausen, 24 Mar 2023

Marie Hundhausen et al.

Marie Hundhausen et al.


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Short summary
Using a convection permitting regional climate ensemble, the magnitude of heat waves (HW) over Germany is projected to increase by 26 % (100 %) in a 2 K (3 K) warmer world. The increase is especially strong in late summer, relatively homogeneous in space, and accompanied by increasing variance of HW length. Tailored parameters to climate adaptation to heat revealed dependency on the major landscapes and a non-linear, exponential increase for parameters characterizing strong heat stress is expected.