Publication Abstracts

Kopp et al. 2017

Kopp, R.E., K. Hayhoe, D.R. Easterling, T. Hall, R. Horton, K.E. Kunkel, and A.N. LeGrande, 2017: Potential surprises — compound extremes and tipping elements. In Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I. D.J. Wuebbles, D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock, Eds. U.S. Global Change Research Program, pp. 411-429, doi:10.7930/J0GB227J.

Positive feedbacks (self-reinforcing cycles) within the climate system have the potential to accelerate human-induced climate change and even shift the Earth's climate system, in part or in whole, into new states that are very different from those experienced in the recent past (for example, ones with greatly diminished ice sheets or different large-scale patterns of atmosphere or ocean circulation). Some feedbacks and potential state shifts can be modeled and quantified; others can be modeled or identified but not quantified; and some are probably still unknown. (Very high confidence in the potential for state shifts and in the incompleteness of knowledge about feedbacks and potential state shifts).

The physical and socioeconomic impacts of compound extreme events (such as simultaneous heat and drought, wildfires associated with hot and dry conditions, or flooding associated with high precipitation on top of snow or waterlogged ground) can be greater than the sum of the parts (very high confidence). Few analyses consider the spatial or temporal correlation between extreme events.

While climate models incorporate important climate processes that can be well quantified, they do not include all of the processes that can contribute to feedbacks, compound extreme events, and abrupt and/or irreversible changes. For this reason, future changes outside the range projected by climate models cannot be ruled out (very high confidence). Moreover, the systematic tendency of climate models to underestimate temperature change during warm paleoclimates suggests that climate models are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate the amount of long-term future change (medium confidence).

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BibTeX Citation

@inbook{ko09500h,
  author={Kopp, R. E. and Hayhoe, K. and Easterling, D. R. and Hall, T. and Horton, R. and Kunkel, K. E. and LeGrande, A. N.},
  editor={Wuebbles, D. J. and Fahey, D. W. and Hibbard, K. A. and Dokken, D. J. and Stewart, B. C. and Maycock, T. K.},
  title={Potential surprises — compound extremes and tipping elements},
  booktitle={Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I},
  year={2017},
  pages={411--429},
  publisher={U.S. Global Change Research Program},
  address={Washington, D.C.},
  doi={10.7930/J0GB227J},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - CHAP
ID  - ko09500h
AU  - Kopp, R. E.
AU  - Hayhoe, K.
AU  - Easterling, D. R.
AU  - Hall, T.
AU  - Horton, R.
AU  - Kunkel, K. E.
AU  - LeGrande, A. N.
ED  - Wuebbles, D. J.
ED  - Fahey, D. W.
ED  - Hibbard, K. A.
ED  - Dokken, D. J.
ED  - Stewart, B. C.
ED  - Maycock, T. K.
PY  - 2017
TI  - Potential surprises — compound extremes and tipping elements
BT  - Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I
SP  - 411
EP  - 429
DO  - 10.7930/J0GB227J
PB  - U.S. Global Change Research Program
CY  - Washington, D.C.
ER  -

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