Future changes in extreme events

The future evolution of extreme climatic events - particularly droughts, heat waves, cold spells and extreme rainfall - is crucial to evaluating future climatic impacts on society. In our previous work we have developed a method to derive the probability of record-breaking events from climatic trend and variance estimates. This approach has been successfully used for gridded observational temperature data sets for the past century. In this PhD project, this statistical approach can be applied to analyse additional observational data sets, other than monthly gridded temperatures. It can also be applied to generate spatially explicit scenarios for the frequency of future record-breaking extreme events, based on the large-scale climate projections of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-5).

Stefan Rahmstorf

Stefan Rahmstorf is Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He has been Full Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University since 2000. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Honorary Fellow of the Univeristy of Wales/ Bangor. His main areas of expertise are future sea-level rise; statistics of the future evolution of climatic extreme events; and physical modelling of climatic tipping elements.

Professor David Karoly is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles. 

Professor Karoly is a member of the new Climate Change Authority in Australia. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the Australian Climate Commission, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the Joint Scientific Committee, which provides oversight of the World Climate Research Programme. 

Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government.   

A/Prof Malte Meinshausen is the Director of the Australian-German College at The University of Melbourne and is affiliated with Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He holds a Ph. D. in "Climate Science & Policy", a Diploma in "Environmental Sciences" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc. in "Environmental Change and Management" from the University of Oxford, UK. Before joining the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 2006, he was a Post-Doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He has been contributing author to various chapters in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). Until May 2011, he was leading the PRIMAP ("Potsdam Real-Time Integrated Model for probabilistic Assessment of emission Path") research group at PIK before relocating to Melbourne. Since 2005, he is a scientific advisor to the German Environmental Ministry related to international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC. Since 2014, he investigates methods to derive future climate targets for Australia in the context of a Future Fellow ARC project.