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  • Source Publication: International Journal of Climatology, 42, 10, doi: org/10.1002/joc.7833.8 Authors: Diaconescu, E., H. Sankare, K. Chow, T.Q. Murdock, and A.J. Cannon Publication Date: Dec 2022

    The projected increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events due to climate change means an associated increase in risk of heat-related illnesses and mortality. Public health systems need to be prepared to identify and reduce the susceptibility of vulnerable populations to increased occurrence of heat-related illness and stress. To facilitate this, climate services have begun developing climate change projections for heat-stress indices based on exceedances of thresholds used operationally in meteorological heat warning systems. This task is complicated by the fact that heat-stress indices are generally computed using hourly data whereas climate model outputs are often archived at daily or longer time steps. This study focuses on Humidex, a heat-stress index used in heat alerts issued by the Meteorological Service of Canada. Several potential solutions for computing robust Humidex indices using daily data are examined, including a new approximation method. Indices obtained with the new method are compared with indices obtained using the classic method based on hourly data as well as with other two methods based on average daily values. The new approximation gives good estimations for humidex indices, while the daily-average-value methods present biases with respect to the hourly-value method.

  • Source Publication: Canadian Journal of Statistics, 50, 4, 1355-1386, doi:10.1002/cjs.11743 Authors: Dean, C.B., A.H. El-Shaarawi, S.R. Esterby, J. Mills-Flemming, R.D. Routledge, S.W. Taylor, D.G. Woolford, J.V. Zidek and F.W. Zwiers Publication Date: Dec 2022

    This article focuses on the importance of collaboration in statistics by Canadian researchers and highlights the contributions that Canadian statisticians have made to many research areas in environmetrics. We provide a discussion about different vehicles that have been developed for collaboration by Canadians in the environmetrics context as well as specific scientific areas that are focused on environmetrics research in Canada including climate science, forestry, and fisheries, which are areas of importance for natural resources in Canada.

  • Source Publication: Earth's Future, 10, doi:10.1029/2022EF002797 Authors: Li, M., C. Li, Z. Jiang, X. Zhang and F.W. Zwiers Publication Date: Dec 2022

    Observations show that summer precipitation in China has undergone pronounced changes, resulting in an enigmatic “north-south drying-wetting” pattern in eastern China that is of great concern for socio-economic development. Scientific consensus on the mechanisms that are responsible for this pattern of change has not yet been achieved. We show that this complex pattern of summer total precipitation trends observed in China since the 1960s is overwhelmingly the result of changes in daily precipitation frequency, rather than being the result of changes in precipitation intensity or the frequency of synoptic circulation patterns favorable to precipitation. Changes in precipitation intensity, which are very likely due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing, contribute a relatively homogeneous wetting tendency across the country while changes due to synoptic circulation change are weak. The changes in daily precipitation frequency that drive the observed patterns of change may be due to aerosols, but improved process understanding will be required to resolve that question and enable reliable projections of regional scale precipitation change in China and elsewhere.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Dec 2022

    This issue of the PCIC Update contains the following stories: An Unprecedented Warm and Dry Start to Autumn in Southern BC Gives Way to a Cooler Winter Forecast, Continued Refinement of PCIC’s Downscaling Methods, Analysing Climate Change Impacts on the Nechako River and Working With Hydrologic Projections. It also contains an update on the Pacific Climate Seminar Series, staff changes at PCIC and PCIC's most recent publications. The staff profile in this issue is on Dr. Samah Larabi.

  • Source Publication: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 61, 9, 1139-1157. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-21-0205.1 Authors: Lao, I. R., C. Abraham, E. Wiebe, and A.H. Monahan Publication Date: Dec 2022

    Nocturnal warming events (NWEs) are abrupt interruptions in the typical cooling of surface temperatures at night. Using temperature time series from the high-resolution Vancouver Island School-Based Weather Station Network (VWSN) in British Columbia, Canada, we investigate temporal and spatial characteristics of NWEs. In this coastal region, NWEs are more frequently detected in winter than in summer, with a seasonal shift from slowly warming NWEs dominating the winter months to rapidly warming NWEs dominating the summer months. Slow-warming NWEs are of relatively small amplitude and exhibit slow cooling rates after the temperature peaks. In contrast, fast-warming NWEs have a temperature increase of several kelvins with shorter-duration temperature peaks. The median behavior of these distinct NWE classes at individual stations is similar across the entire set of stations. The spatial synchronicity of NWEs across the VWSN (determined by requiring NWEs at station pairs to occur within given time windows) decreases with distance, including substantial variability at nearby stations that reflects local influences. Fast-warming NWEs are observed to occur either simultaneously across a number of stations or in isolation at one station. Spatial synchronicity values are used to construct undirected networks to investigate spatial connectivity structures of NWEs. We find that, independent of individual seasons or NWE classes, the networks are largely unstructured, with no clear spatial connectivity structures related to local topography or direction.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Oct 2022

    This is the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium's 2021-2022 Corporate Report.

  • Authors: Markus Schnorbus Publication Date: Jul 2022

    This report, the first volume in the VIC Generation 2 deployment reports, provides a description of VIC-Glacier (VIC-GL) model changes and upgrades.

  • Authors: Markus Schnorbus Publication Date: Jul 2022

    This report, the second volume in the VIC Generation 2 deployment reports, provides a description of modelling glacier dynamics with the HydroConductor Model.

  • Authors: Markus Schnorbus Publication Date: Jul 2022

    This report, the third volume in the VIC Generation 2 deployment reports, provides a description of vegetation and topography parameterization.

  • Authors: Markus Schnorbus Publication Date: Jul 2022

    This, the fifth volume in the VIC Generation 2 deployment reports, provides a description of model calibration.

  • Authors: Markus Schnorbus Publication Date: Jul 2022

    This, the sixth volume in the VIC Generation 2 deployment reports, provides a description of model set-up and deployment for the Peace, Fraser, and Columbia basins.

  • Source Publication: Weather and Climate Extremes, 36, 100441, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2022.100441 Authors: Gillett, N.P., A.J. Cannon, E. Malinina, M. Schnorbus, F. Anslow, Q. Sun, M. Kirchmeier-Young, F.W. Zwiers, C. Seiler, X. Zhang, G. Flato, H. Wan, G. Li and A. Castellan Publication Date: Jun 2022

    A strong atmospheric river made landfall in southwestern British Columbia, Canada on November 14th, 2021, bringing two days of intense precipitation to the region. The resulting floods and landslides led to the loss of at least five lives, cut Vancouver off entirely from the rest of Canada by road and rail, and made this the costliest natural disaster in the province's history. Here we show that when characterised in terms of storm-averaged water vapour transport, the variable typically used to characterise the intensity of atmospheric rivers, westerly atmospheric river events of this magnitude are approximately one in ten year events in the current climate of this region, and that such events have been made at least 60% more likely by the effects of human-induced climate change. Characterised in terms of the associated two-day precipitation, the event is substantially more extreme, approximately a one in fifty to one in a hundred year event, and the probability of events at least this large has been increased by a best estimate of 45% by human-induced climate change. The effects of this precipitation on streamflow were exacerbated by already wet conditions preceding the event, and by rising temperatures during the event that led to significant snowmelt, which led to streamflow maxima exceeding estimated one in a hundred year events in several basins in the region. Based on a large ensemble of simulations with a hydrological model which integrates the effects of multiple climatic drivers, we find that the probability of such extreme streamflow events in October to December has been increased by human-induced climate change by a best estimate of 120–330%. Together these results demonstrate the substantial human influence on this compound extreme event, and help motivate efforts to increase resiliency in the face of more frequent events of this kind in the future.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Jun 2022

    This issue of the PCIC Update contains the following stories: Providing Extreme Streamflow Values for the Fraser River and Joint CMOS/ESC/CGU Conference. The staff profile for this issue is on Dr. Pei-Ling Wang.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: May 2022

    This issue of the PCIC Update covers the following stories: Downscaled CMIP6 Data Now Available; Release of the Design Value Explorer; IPCC Reports on Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability and Mitigation; and New Section and Sector Modules on The Science Brief mentioned in this issue is on changes to Western Canadian glaciers. The talks discussed in this issue were delivered by Professor Ted Shepherd, Dr. Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya, Dr. Nathan Gillett and Markus Schnorbus, Dr. John Fyfe, Dr. Paul Kushner and Dr. Hans von Storch. The staff profile in this issue is on Stacey O'Sullivan.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Apr 2022

    As a consequence of global warming, the world's glaciers have been shrinking. Changes to glaciers in BC could have wide-ranging impacts to BC's ecosystems and human communities, across multiple sectors. Remote sensing data has been invaluable in measuring and characterizing changes to the world's glaciers. Recent research published in Remote Sensing of the Environment using such data shows that western Canadian glaciers have been melting at an accelerating rate and examines how this is related to changes in seasonal temperature and precipitation. Here we discuss what these results tell us about changes to western Canada's glaciers.

  • Source Publication: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 103, 3, S50-S54, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-21-0143.1 Authors: Liu, Y., C. Li, Y. Sun, F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, Z. Jiang and F. Zheng Publication Date: Mar 2022

    On 6–8 January 2021, a cold air outbreak swept across eastern China, peaking over the North China Plain the night of 6 January, when 219 weather stations recorded the lowest nighttime temperature since 1961. In total, 498 stations recorded the lowest daytime or nighttime temperature since 1961 during the 3-day event. This event, together with two other cold outbreaks that affected the region on 13–15 December 2020 and 29 December 2020–1 January 2021, led to historic peak electricity demand and resumption of the operation of the only remaining coalfired generating plant in Beijing. This analysis puts the cold outbreak into historical perspective by considering changes in the likelihood of such events over 1961–2020 in the context of a climate that is being warmed by anthropogenic forcing.

  • Source Publication: Climate Dynamics volume, 58, 793–809, doi:10.1007/s00382-021-05933-3 Authors: Tan, Y., S. Yang, F.W. Zwiers, Z. Wang and Q. Sun Publication Date: Feb 2022

    We report on the characteristics of precipitation associated with three types of landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs) over western North America in the winter season from 1980 to 2004. The ARs are classified according to three landfalling regions as southern, middle and northern types. Two main centers of precipitation are associated with the contributions by the ARs: one over Baja California linked to the southern type of the ARs, and the other over Washington State correlated with the northern and middle types of the ARs. ARs are seen to play a dominant role in the occurrences of extreme precipitation events, with a proportionately greater impact on more extreme events. Moisture flux convergence makes the dominant contribution to precipitation when ARs and extreme precipitation occur simultaneously in the studied areas. Moisture flux convergence in these cases is, in turn, dominated by the mean and transient moisture transported by the transient wind, with greater contribution from the latter, which is mainly concentrated in certain areas. The magnitude and direction of vertically integrated vapor transport (IVT) also play a role in determining the amount of precipitation received in the three regions considered. Larger IVT magnitude corresponds to more precipitation, while an IVT direction of about 220° (0° indicating east wind) is most favorable for high precipitation amount, which is especially obvious for the northern type of the ARs.

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Feb 2022

    PCIC is a regional climate service provider dedicated to ensuring the provision of quantitative, high qualityclimate information to stakeholders and the public in BC and more widely. PCIC considers itself to be a competent, innovative and reliable climate service provider that works at a very high level of technical proficiency. Motivated by our stakeholders’ needs, PCIC bases its services on results obtained from the global climate research community and its own applied, regional climate research. It also works to increase the capacity of others to use climate information and understand its limitations.

    This plan articulates PCIC’s ambition to serve as THE authoritative climate services provider in our region by setting out several service objectives for the organization that encompass a spectrum of activities ranging from direct data delivery to user-specific interpretation and training. These overarching service objectives are supported by several strategic objectives that are required to achieve our service objectives as well as a strategy for electronic services delivery. A key tool in achieving these objectives will be the careful use of climate change simulations produced for Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6; Eyring et al., 2016), which uses updated models compared to those considered in IPCC (2014), and considers a wider range of emissions scenarios, called Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs).

  • Authors: The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium Publication Date: Feb 2022

    This PCIC Primer, on Understanding Future Climate Scenarios, provides context for, and an explanation of, two sets of emissions scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), used for the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), used in CMIP6.

  • Source Publication: Environmental Research Communications, 4, 1, 015009, doi:10.1088/2515-7620/ac4bab Authors: Wu, L., A. Elshorbagy, and M.S. Alam Publication Date: Jan 2022

    Understanding the dynamics of water-energy-food (WEF) nexus interactions with climate change and human intervention helps inform policymaking. This study demonstrates the WEF nexus behavior under ensembles of climate change, transboundary inflows, and policy options, and evaluates the overall nexus performance using a previously developed system dynamics-based WEF nexus model—WEF-Sask. The climate scenarios include a baseline (1986–2014) and near-future climate projections (2021–2050). The approach is demonstrated through the case study of Saskatchewan, Canada. Results show that rising temperature with increased rainfall likely maintains reliable food and feed production. The climate scenarios characterized by a combination of moderate temperature increase and slightly less rainfall or higher temperature increase with slightly higher rainfall are easier to adapt to by irrigation expansion. However, such expansion uses a large amount of water resulting in reduced hydropower production. In contrast, higher temperature, combined with less rainfall, such as SSP370 (+2.4 °C, −6 mm), is difficult to adapt to by irrigation expansion. Renewable energy expansion, the most effective climate change mitigation option in Saskatchewan, leads to the best nexus performance during 2021–2050, reducing total water demand, groundwater demand, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and potentially increasing water available for food&feed production. In this study, we recommend and use food&feed and power production targets and provide an approach to assessing the impacts of hydroclimate and policy options on the WEF nexus, along with suggestions for adapting the agriculture and energy sectors to climate change.