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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2002 Jul 15;360(1796):1301-11.

Predictions of extreme precipitation and sea-level rise under climate change.

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Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met Office, London Road, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SY, UK.


Two aspects of global climate change are particularly relevant to river and coastal flooding: changes in extreme precipitation and changes in sea level. In this paper we summarize the relevant findings of the IPCC Third Assessment Report and illustrate some of the common results found by the current generation of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs), using the Hadley Centre models. Projections of changes in extreme precipitation, sea-level rise and storm surges affecting the UK will be shown from the Hadley Centre regional models and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory storm-surge model. A common finding from AOGCMs is that in a warmer climate the intensity of precipitation will increase due to a more intense hydrological cycle. This leads to reduced return periods (i.e. more frequent occurrences) of extreme precipitation in many locations. The Hadley Centre regional model simulates reduced return periods of extreme precipitation in a number of flood-sensitive areas of the UK. In addition, simulated changes in storminess and a rise in average sea level around the UK lead to reduced return periods of extreme high coastal water events. The confidence in all these results is limited by poor spatial resolution in global coupled models and by uncertainties in the physical processes in both global and regional models, and is specific to the climate change scenario used.

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