Assessing current and future trends of climate extremes across Brazil based on reanalyses and earth system model projections

Alvaro Avila-Diaz, Victor Benezoli, Flavio Justino, Roger Torres, Aaron Wilson

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68 Scopus citations


Brazil experiences extreme weather and climate events that cause numerous economic and social losses, and according to climate change projections, these events will increase in intensity and frequency over this century.This study adds to the body of research on Brazil’s climate change by analyzing the historical patterns and projected changes in temperature and precipitation extremes across Brazil using the World Climate Research Program’s Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices framework. This novel approach analyzes climate extreme events over the past four decades (1980–2016) using multiple gridded observation and reanalysis datasets. Furthermore, future changes in climate extremes are analyzed from 20 downscaled Earth System Models (ESMs) at high horizontal resolution (0.25° of latitude/longitude), under two representative concentration pathway scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Projected changes in the extreme indices are analyzed over mid-twenty-first century (2046–2065) and end-of-twenty-first century (2081–2100) relative to the reference period 1986–2005. Results show consistent warming patterns with increasing (decreasing) trends in warm (cold) extremes in the historical datasets. A similar but more intense warm pattern is projected in the mid and end of the twenty-first century. For precipitation indices, observations show an increase in consecutive dry days and a reduction of consecutive wet days over almost all Brazil. The frequency and intensity of extremely wet days over Brazil are expected to increase according to future scenarios. Designing effective adaptation and mitigation measures in response to changes in climate extremes events depends on this improved understanding of how conditions have and are likely to change in the future at regional scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1426
Number of pages24
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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