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    Climate signals in river flood damages emerge under sound regional disaggregation
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021) Sauer, Inga J.; Reese, Ronja; Otto, Christian; Geiger, Tobias; Willner, Sven N.; Guillod, Benoit P.; Bresch, David N.; Frieler, Katja
    Climate change affects precipitation patterns. Here, we investigate whether its signals are already detectable in reported river flood damages. We develop an empirical model to reconstruct observed damages and quantify the contributions of climate and socio-economic drivers to observed trends. We show that, on the level of nine world regions, trends in damages are dominated by increasing exposure and modulated by changes in vulnerability, while climate-induced trends are comparably small and mostly statistically insignificant, with the exception of South & Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia. However, when disaggregating the world regions into subregions based on river-basins with homogenous historical discharge trends, climate contributions to damages become statistically significant globally, in Asia and Latin America. In most regions, we find monotonous climate-induced damage trends but more years of observations would be needed to distinguish between the impacts of anthropogenic climate forcing and multidecadal oscillations.
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    State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Schewe, Jacob; Gosling, Simon N.; Reyer, Christopher; Zhao, Fang; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Francois, Louis; Huber, Veronika; Lotze, Heike K.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Vautard, Robert; Wada, Yoshihide; Breuer, Lutz; Büchner, Matthias; Carozza, David A.; Chang, Jinfeng; Coll, Marta; Deryng, Delphine; de Wit, Allard; Eddy, Tyler D.; Folberth, Christian; Frieler, Katja; Friend, Andrew D.; Gerten, Dieter; Gudmundsson, Lukas; Hanasaki, Naota; Ito, Akihiko; Khabarov, Nikolay; Kim, Hyungjun; Lawrence, Peter; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Müller, Christoph; Müller Schmied, Hannes; Orth, René; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pokhrel, Yadu; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Sakurai, Gen; Satoh, Yusuke; Schmid, Erwin; Stacke, Tobias; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tang, Qiuhong; Tian, Hanqin; Tittensor, Derek P.; Volkholz, Jan; Wang, Xuhui; Warszawski, Lila
    Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.