Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme

MICE Climate Extremes Gateway
Welcome to the MICE gateway to climate extremes. Here you will find links to everything from references, through conferences, to software. If you find this resource useful or have suggestions on how to improve and expand it, please let us know In particular:

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The IPCC and climate extremes

Recent meetings on extremes

Software for extreme value analysis

Theory of extreme value analysis

References on ‘How to do extreme value analysis’

Links to practitioners with a climate change interest

Recent references on climate extremes


The IPCC and climate extremes
"An extreme weather event is an event that is rare within its statistical reference distribution at a particular place.  Definitions of ‘rare’ vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile.  By definition, the characteristics of what is called extreme weather may vary from place to place.
An extreme climate event is an average of a number of weather events over a certain period of time, an average which itself is extreme (e.g. rainfall over a season)."

Definition of an extreme weather event; IPCC Working Group I Third Assessment Report Glossary

Extremes in Working Group I Third Assessment Report
Summary for Policymakers Table 1
Chapter 2 Observed climate variability and change
               Section 2.7
Chapter 9 
Projections of future climate change
               Section 9.3.6
Chapter 10
Regional climate information – evaluation and projections
               Section – AOGCMs: extremes in current climate
               Section – AOGCMs: extremes under climate change
               Section - High or variable resolution GCMs: extremes under
                                           current climate
               Section – High or variable resolution GCMs: extremes under
                                           climate change
               Section – RCMs: extremes under current climate
               Section – RCMs: extremes under climate change
Chapter 14 Advancing our understanding
               Section –
Extreme events

Extremes in Working Group II Third Assessment Report
Summary for Policymakers
                     Section 2.5 – Projected changes in climate extremes could have
                                   major consequences
                                   Figure SPM-2
                                   Table SPM-1
Chapter 3  Developing and applying scenarios
               Section 3.8.5 – Scenarios of changes in climate variability and extreme
Chapter 4  Hydrology and water resources
               Section 4.3.8 – Floods
               Section 4.3.9 – Droughts
Chapter 8  Insurance and other financial services
               Section 8.2 – Relevant extreme events
               Table 8.1
Chapter 9  Human health
               Section 9.4 – Thermal stress
               Section 9.5 – Extreme events and weather disasters
               Section 9.11.1 – Adaptation options, extreme events and natural disasters
Chapters 10 – 17 are regional chapters, most of which have sections on extremes.
Chapter 19 Vulnerability to climate change and reasons for concern: a synthesis
               Section 19.6.3 – Impacts of extremes
               Section 19.7.6 – Future research and extremes
               Section – Conclusions

IPCC Workshop on Changes in Extreme Weather and Climate Events
Beijing, 11 – 13 June 2002
Workshop report




Recent meetings on extremes

Séminaire Européen de Statistique (SEMSTAT)
Meeting on Extreme Value Theory and Applications, December 10 - 15, 2001;
Gothenburg (Sweden)
Lecture notes

Climate Extremes
ACACIA Precipitation Extremes Workshop, April 4–6, 2001, NCAR, Boulder, CO

IPCC Workshop on Changes in Extreme Weather and Climate Events,
11 – 13 June 2002, Beijing
Workshop report

Workshop on Economic and social impacts of climate extremes: risks and benefits,
October 14-16, 1999, Amsterdam.





Software for extreme value analysis

Splus routines
functions from Stuart Coles (Bristol University), to go with his book
functions written by J. Heffernan (Lancaster University)
       EVIS package from A. McNeill (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich)

Matlab routines
EVIM package: similar to EVIS, from Faruk Selçuk (Bilkent University, Turkey)
           WAFO: part of this huge toolbox is about extremes (Lund University, Sweden)

R routines
EVD package: functions for extreme value distributions, from Alec
                               Stephenson (Lancaster University)
       EVDBayes package: functions for Bayesian analysis of extreme value
from Alec Stephenson (Lancaster University)
           functions from Stuart Coles (Bristol University), to go with his book, converted
                         to R from Splus by Alec Stephenson (Lancaster University)

Xtremes Package: flexible for a package if you know Pascal, goes with a book

General statistics resources including extreme value routines
Dataplot: free public domain software for scientific visualization and statistical
                   analysis, includes GEV and GPD distributions (US National Institute
                         of Standards and Technology)
         Statlib: statistical software and datasets, including those from Applied                                  Statistics. Lots of source code.







Theory of extreme value analysis





References on ‘How to do extreme value analysis’

Practical Guides
Ledermann, W., Lloyd, E., Vajda, S. & Alexander, C., editors. (1990).
               Handbook of Applicable Mathematics Volume 7: Supplement.
               Wiley-Interscience, Chichester, 479 pp.
         Smith, R.L., (2001). Extreme Values. Chapter 8 in
Environmental Statistics Lecture Notes v. 5, Univ. of North Carolina.
         Stedinger, J. R., Vogel, R. M. & Foufoula-Georgiou, E. (1993). Frequency
               analysis of extreme events. Chapter 18 in Handbook of Hydrology,
               McGraw Hill, New York.

Text Books
Coles, S. (2001). An Introduction to Statistical Modelling of Extreme Values.
               Springer-Verlag. London, 208 pp.
         Kotz, S. & Nadarajah, S. (2000). Extreme Value Distributions: Theory and
. Imperial College Press, 185 pp.
         Reiss, R.-D., & Thomas, M. (2001). Statistical Analysis of Extreme Values:
               from Insurance, Finance, Hydrology and Other Fields
               Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 443  pp.

Further reading on techniques
Adler, R.J., Feldman, R.E., & Taqqu, M.S., editors (2000).
               A Practical Guide to Heavy Tails: Statistical Techniques and Applications.
               Birkhäuser, Boston, 533 pp.





Links to practitioners with a climate change interest

More on the statistical side:

More on the climate change side:





Recent references on extremes and climate change

Changnon SA, Changnon JM, Hewings GD (2001). Losses caused by weather and climate extremes: A national index for the United States. Physical Geography 22:1-27.

Diaz J, Jordan A, Garcia R, Lopez C, Alberdi JC, Hernandez E, Otero A (2002). Heat waves in Madrid 1986-1997: effects on the health of the elderly. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 75:163-170.

Easterling DR, Meehl GA, Parmesan C, Changnon SA, Karl TR, Mearns LO (2000). Climate extremes: Observations, modeling, and impacts. Science 289:2068-2074.

Frei C, Schar C (2001). Detection probability of trends in rare events: Theory and application to heavy precipitation in the Alpine region. Journal of Climate 14:1568-1584.

Huth R, Kysely J, Pokorna L (2000). A GCM simulation of heat waves, dry spells, and their relationships to circulation. Climatic Change 46:29-60.

Katz RW (2002). Techniques for estimating uncertainty in climate change scenarios and impact studies. Climate Research 20:167-185.

Kharin VV, Zwiers FW (2000). Changes in the extremes in an ensemble of transient climate simulations with a coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM. Journal of Climate 13:3760-3788.

Kysely J and Huth R (2001).  2001_St_Lesna_KyselyExtreme temperature events in Central Europe:
are climate models able to reproduce them. Proc. Conference "150 years of
Meteorological Service in Central Europe", Slovakia, October 2001 [CD-ROM,14 pp.].

Kysely J (2002). Comparison of extremes in GCM-simulated, downscaled and observed central-European temperature series. Climate Research 20:211-222.

Kysely J (2002). Probability estimates of extreme temperature events: Stochastic modelling approach vs. extreme value distributions. Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica 46:93-112.

Meehl GA, Zwiers F, Evans J, Knutson T, Mearns L, Whetton P (2000). Trends in extreme weather and climate events: Issues related to modeling extremes in projections of future climate change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81:427-436.

Raisanen J, Joelsson R (2001). Changes in average and extreme precipitation in two regional climate model experiments. Tellus Series A-Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography 53:547-566.



© Tom Holt 2002

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