Geophysical Research Letters
Earth temperature, Atmospheric models, Climatic changes -- Mathematical models
Some regions of North America exhibit nonnormal temperature distributions. Shorter-than-Gaussian warm tails are a special subset of these cases, with potentially meaningful implications for future changes in extreme warm temperatures under anthropogenic global warming. Locations exhibiting shorter-than-Gaussian warm tails would experience a greater increase in extreme warm temperature exceedances than a location with a Gaussian or long warm-side tail under a simple uniform warm shift in the distribution. Here we identify regions exhibiting such behavior over North America and demonstrate the effect of a simple warm shift on changes in extreme warm temperature exceedances. Some locations exceed the 95th percentile of the original distribution by greater than 40% of the time after this uniform shift. While the manner in which distributions change under global warming may be more complex than a simple shift, these results provide an observational baseline for climate model evaluation.
Loikith, P. C., & Neelin, J. D. (2015). Short-tailed temperature distributions over North America and implications for future changes in extremes. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(20), 8577–8585.