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California Heat Waves in the Present and Future Alexander Gershunov and Kristen Guirguis Climate, Atmospheric
California Heat Waves
in the Present and Future
Alexander Gershunov and Kristen Guirguis
Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography (CASPO)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Extremes: what they are and how they can change

Probability density function (PDF)

and how they can change Probability density function (PDF) • Extreme relative to what? • Frequency

• Extreme relative to what?

Frequency and intensity

• Change in mean

• Change in shape

– Change in variance – Change in structure

• Change in both

Working definition of extreme heat:

Daytime Heat Intensity

Sacramento Tmax

99 th percentile thresholds

o o • Locally extreme temperature exceeding a high percentile threshold t* (e.g. 99%-ile) o
o o
• Locally extreme temperature
exceeding a high percentile
threshold t* (e.g. 99%-ile)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o o
o o o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
oo
o
oo
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o o o
o o
o
o
o
o
x
o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o
o
o o
o
o
o o o o
o
43.3
o o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
42.3
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
2006 Tmax
41.7
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
40.6
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
threshold (42.2C/108F)
o
o
o
o
o
o o
39.4
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
38.7
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o o
o
o
36.2
oo
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
ooo
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
35
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o o
o
o o
o
o o
o
32.4
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
22.2
o
o
o o
o o o o
oo o o o oo ooo o o o oo o o o o oo ooo oo oo o o oo oooo o o o oo oo o oo oo oo o o o o o o oo o o o oo o o o o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o oo o oo oo o o o
o
o
o o
o
o
o o
o
o oo
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
oo
o
o
o
oo
o
o
o
o o
o
oo
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
Mean Tmax
99 th percentile in C of JJA Tmax over
the base period 1950 – 1999.
Temperatures have a climatological
0.01 probability of exceeding these
thresholds and should be considered
locally extreme.
5
10
15
20
25
30
5
10
15
20
25
30
5
10
15
20
25
30
Jun
Jul
Aug
Gershunov, Cayan and Iacobellis, Journal of Climate, 2009
15
20
25
30
35
40
45

25

20

15

10

Working definition of extreme heat:

Nighttime Heat Intensity

Sacramento Tmin

99 th percentile thresholds

Locally extreme temperature exceeding a high percentile threshold t* (e.g. 99%-ile) o o o o
Locally extreme temperature
exceeding a high percentile
threshold t* (e.g. 99%-ile)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
o o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
oo
oo
o
o
o o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
x
o
o
o o
o o
o o
o
o
o o
29C/84F
o
o o
o
o
o o
o o
26.5
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
2006 Tmin
24
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
22.8
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
21.1
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
18.9
o o
o o
o o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
threshold (22.8C/73F)
o o
o o
o
18.3
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o
o
o o
17.2
oo
oo
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
o
o
16.1
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o o
o o
o
o
15
o
o
o
o
o
o
oo
oo
o o
o o
o
o o
o o
o o
o
12.8
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o o o
o o o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o oo
o oo
o
o
o o
oo
oo
o o o
o o o
o o
o o o
o o o
o o
o o
o o
oooo oo o ooo oo ooo o o oo oooooo oo oo oo oo o oo oo o ooo ooo o o ooo oo o o o o oo o oo oo oo ooo oooo oo o oo o o
o o
o o
o o
oo o oo o o
oo o oo o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o o
o oo
o oo
o o
o o o o o o o oo o oo o o o
o o o o o o o oo o oo o o o
oo o oo o oo o ooo o
o o
Mean Tmin
99 th percentile in C of JJA Tmin over
the base period 1950 – 1999.
Temperatures have a climatological
0.01 probability of exceeding these
thresholds and should be considered
locally extreme.
5
10
15
20
25
30
5
10
15
20
25
30
5
10
15
20
25
30
Jun
Jul
Aug
Gershunov, Cayan and Iacobellis, Journal of Climate, 2009
GREAT HEAT WAVES AND THEIR OVERALL REGIOINAL MAGNITUDES Local intensity + duration + spatial extent
GREAT HEAT WAVES AND THEIR OVERALL REGIOINAL MAGNITUDES
Local intensity + duration + spatial extent
in degree days summed over the region
for the six greatest daytime and six greatest nighttime events 2006
daytime magnitude
nighttime magnitude
2003
1960 1972
2002
1981
1961 jun
2001
1983
1961 aug
1990 1992
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
degree days per station
0246

Gershunov, Cayan and Iacobellis, Journal of Climate, 2009

California Heat Waves are Changing End of July 2006 INDIVIDUAL HEAT WAVES daytime magnitude nighttime
California Heat Waves are Changing
End of July 2006
INDIVIDUAL HEAT WAVES
daytime magnitude
nighttime magnitude
The heat wave of
July 2006 was an
unprecedented
deadly event.
147 total
deaths
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
99% of cases lived in zip
codes where > 50% of
residents live below
Poverty Guide Line
TOTAL HEAT WAVE ACTIVITY
Day > Night magnitude
~600 total
excess deaths
(Ostro et al. 2009)
Night > Day magnitude
California heat wave activity is increasing.
Specifically, nighttime-accentuated, humid
heat waves are on the rise…
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
02468
0246

50

40

30

20

10

0

California Heat Waves and Climate Change: CNRM

ONE CLIMATE MODEL UNDER THE MILD EMISSIONS “B1” SCENARIO

PAST PRESENT FUTURE observations 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Day > Night magnitude Night
PAST
PRESENT
FUTURE
observations
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Day
> Night magnitude
Night > Day magnitude
1900
1950
2000
2050
2100
02468

50

40

30

20

10

0

California Heat Waves and Climate Change: CNRM

ONE CLIMATE MODEL UNDER THE MILD EMISSIONS “B1” SCENARIO SUGGESTS THAT THE OBSERVED CHANGE IS A TIP OF THE ICEBERG

PAST PRESENT FUTURE observations 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Day > Night magnitude Night
PAST
PRESENT
FUTURE
observations
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Day
> Night magnitude
Night > Day magnitude
1900
1950
2000
2050
2100
02468

California Heat Waves, a Regional View:

Observations

A stationary view – threshold exceedance

California Heat Waves, a Regional View: Observations A stationary view – threshold exceedance Gershunov and Guirguis

Gershunov and Guirguis 2012

California Heat Waves, a Regional View:

Projections

A stationary view – threshold exceedance

Gershunov and Guirguis 2012

California Heat Waves

A non-stationary view: 95th – 50th percentile distance difference (future climate – recent climate) =
A non-stationary view: 95th – 50th
percentile distance difference
(future climate – recent climate) =
heat wave intensity change relative
to contemporary, evolving climate

Gershunov and Guirguis 2012

California Heat Waves

California Heat Waves Gershunov and Guirguis 2012

Gershunov and Guirguis 2012

Public Health Impacts: Direct Effects 2006 Heat Wave in California

Health Impacts: Direct Effects 2006 Heat Wave in California Heat-Related Deaths in Counties with ≥ 10

Heat-Related Deaths in Counties with 10 Deaths July 15 – August 1, 2006

in Counties with ≥ 10 Deaths July 15 – August 1, 2006 99% of cases lived

99% of cases lived in zip codes where > 50% of residents live below Poverty Guide Line

Source: R. Trent, T. Kim. 2007. CDPH

Health Impacts of the 2006 Event

Health Impacts of the 2006 Event Gershunov, Johnston, Margolis and Guirguis 2011

Gershunov, Johnston, Margolis and Guirguis 2011

Looking ahead • Global climate change is playing out with regional idiosyncrasies • In California,
Looking ahead
• Global climate change is playing out with regional idiosyncrasies
• In California, a tendency towards more humid heat waves and
unprecedented nighttime temperatures impacts health
• While the coast is projected to experience less average warming than the
inland areas, coastal heat waves are projected to become hotter relative to
future average summertime temperatures
• This bodes ill for coastal communities (the largest population centers) of
California that are neither physiologically nor technologically
acclimated to extreme heat

California Heat Waves

SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves

Obs

California Heat Waves SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves Obs CNRM GFDL CCSM Gershunov and

CNRM

California Heat Waves SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves Obs CNRM GFDL CCSM Gershunov and

GFDL

California Heat Waves SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves Obs CNRM GFDL CCSM Gershunov and

CCSM

California Heat Waves SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves Obs CNRM GFDL CCSM Gershunov and
California Heat Waves SLP anomalies associated with California heat waves Obs CNRM GFDL CCSM Gershunov and

Gershunov and Guirguis 2012