Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
06 Jun 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).
Extratropical cyclone statistics during the last millennium and the 21st century
Christoph C. Raible1,2, Martina Messmer1,2, Flavio Lehner3, Thomas F. Stocker1,2, and Richard Blender4 1Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Bern, Switzerland
3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder (CO), USA
4Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. Extratropical cyclones in winter and their characteristics are investigated in depth for the Atlantic European region, as they are responsible for a significant part of the rainfall and extreme wind and/or precipitation-induced hazards. Here, we use a seamless transient simulation with a state-of-the-art fully-coupled Earth System Model from 850 to 2100 CE as basis for the analysis. The RCP8.5 scenario is applied in the 21st century. During the Common Era, cyclone characteristics show pronounced variations on interannual and decadal time scales, but no external forcing imprint is found prior to 1850. Thus, variations of extratropical cyclone characteristics are mainly caused by internal variability of the coupled climate system. When anthropogenic forcing becomes dominant in the 20th century, a decrease of the cyclone occurrences mainly over the Mediterranean and a strong increase of extreme cyclone-related precipitation become detectable. The latter is due to thermodynamics as it follows the Clausius-Clapeyron relation. An important finding, though, is that the relation between temperature and extreme cyclone-related precipitation is not always controlled by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, which suggests that dynamical processes can play an important role in generating extreme cyclone-related precipitation – for example in the absence of anomalously warm background conditions. Thus, the importance of dynamical processes, even on decadal time scales, might explain the conundrum that proxy records suggest enhanced occurrence of precipitation extremes during rather cold periods in the past.
Citation: Raible, C. C., Messmer, M., Lehner, F., Stocker, T. F., and Blender, R.: Extratropical cyclone statistics during the last millennium and the 21st century, Clim. Past Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Christoph C. Raible et al.
Christoph C. Raible et al.
Christoph C. Raible et al.


Total article views: 228 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
191 35 2 228 1 3

Views and downloads (calculated since 06 Jun 2018)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 06 Jun 2018)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 228 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 224 with geography defined and 4 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 22 Jun 2018
Publications Copernicus