Is the intensification of precipitation extremes with global warming better detected at hourly than daily resolutions?

Geophysical Research Letters | Barbero et al. [2017]


Although it has been documented that daily precipitation extremes are increasing worldwide, faster increases may be expected for subdaily extremes. Here after a careful quality control procedure, we compared trends in hourly and daily precipitation extremes using a large network of stations across the United States (U.S.) within the 1950–2011 period. A greater number of significant increasing trends in annual and seasonal maximum precipitation were detected from daily extremes, with the primary exception of wintertime. Our results also show that the mean percentage change in annual maximum daily precipitation across the U.S. per global warming degree is ~6.9% °C−1 (in agreement with the Clausius-Clapeyron rate) while lower sensitivities were observed for hourly extremes, suggesting that changes in the magnitude of subdaily extremes in response to global warming emerge more slowly than those for daily extremes in the climate record.

Full text can be found here.



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