Precipitation From Persistent Extremes is Increasing in Most Regions and Globally

Haibo Du, Lisa V. Alexander, Markus G. Donat, Tanya Lippmann, Arvind Srivastava, Jim Salinger, Andries Kruger, Gwangyong Choi, Hong S. He, Fumiaki Fujibe, Matilde Rusticucci, Banzragch Nandintsetseg, Rodrigo Manzanas, Shafiqur Rehman, Farhat Abbas, Panmao Zhai, Ibouraïma Yabi, Michael C. Stambaugh, Shengzhong Wang, Altangerel BatboldPriscilla Teles de Oliveira, Muhammad Adrees, Wei Hou, Shengwei Zong, Claudio Moises Santos e Silva, Paulo Sergio Lucio, Zhengfang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Extreme precipitation often persists for multiple days with variable duration but has usually been examined at fixed duration. Here we show that considering extreme persistent precipitation by complete event with variable duration, rather than a fixed temporal period, is a necessary metric to account for the complexity of changing precipitation. Observed global mean annual-maximum precipitation is significantly stronger (49.5%) for persistent extremes than daily extremes. However, both globally observed and modeled rates of relative increases are lower for persistent extremes compared to daily extremes, especially for Southern Hemisphere and large regions in the 0-45°N latitude band. Climate models also show significant differences in the magnitude and partly even the sign of local mean changes between daily and persistent extremes in global warming projections. Changes in extreme precipitation therefore are more complex than previously reported, and extreme precipitation events with varying duration should be taken into account for future climate change assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6041-6049
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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