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    Human displacements from Tropical Cyclone Idai attributable to climate change
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geophysical Society, 2023) Mester, Benedikt; Vogt, Thomas; Bryant, Seth; Otto, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Schewe, Jacob
    Extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, often trigger population displacement. The frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones are affected by anthropogenic climate change. However, the effect of historical climate change on displacement risk has so far not been quantified. Here, we show how displacement can be partially attributed to climate change using the example of the 2019 Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. We estimate the population exposed to high water levels following Idai's landfall using a combination of a 2D hydrodynamical storm surge model and a flood depth estimation algorithm to determine inland flood depths from remote sensing images, factual (climate change) and counterfactual (no climate change) mean sea level, and maximum wind speed conditions. Our main estimates indicate that climate change has increased displacement risk from this event by approximately 12 600-14 900 additional displaced persons, corresponding to about 2.7 % to 3.2 % of the observed displacements. The isolated effect of wind speed intensification is double that of sea level rise. These results are subject to important uncertainties related to both data and modeling assumptions, and we perform multiple sensitivity experiments to assess the range of uncertainty where possible. Besides highlighting the significant effects on humanitarian conditions already imparted by climate change, our study provides a blueprint for event-based displacement attribution.
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    The Earth system model CLIMBER-X v1.0 – Part 1: Climate model description and validation
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : Copernicus, 2022) Willeit, Matteo; Ganopolski, Andrey; Robinson, Alexander; Edwards, Neil R.
    The newly developed fast Earth system model CLIMBER-X is presented. The climate component of CLIMBER-X consists of a 2.5-D semi-empirical statistical-dynamical atmosphere model, a 3-D frictional-geostrophic ocean model, a dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice model and a land surface model. All the model components are discretized on a regular lat-long grid with a horizontal resolution of 5 ° ×5 °. The model has a throughput of ° ∼ 10 000 simulation years per day on a single node with 16 CPUs on a high-performance computer and is designed to simulate the evolution of the Earth system on temporal scales ranging from decades to >100000 years. A comprehensive evaluation of the model performance for the present day and the historical period shows that CLIMBER-X is capable of realistically reproducing many observed climate characteristics, with results that generally lie within the range of state-of-the-art general circulation models. The analysis of model performance is complemented by a thorough assessment of climate feedbacks and model sensitivities to changes in external forcings and boundary conditions. Limitations and applicability of the model are critically discussed. CLIMBER-X also includes a detailed representation of the global carbon cycle and is coupled to an ice sheet model, which will be described in separate papers. CLIMBER-X is available as open-source code and is expected to be a useful tool for studying past climate changes and for the investigation of the long-term future evolution of the climate.