Visit to University of New South Wales

March 2013




I was very thankful to receive a support from the Royal Meteorological Society for my visit at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

The CCRC is a multi-disciplinary worldwide known research institution with expertise in atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial processes as the key areas of Earth's climate.  It is part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science in Australia. This excellence is not only noticeable in contributions to climate research but also in infrastructure as well as working atmosphere and conditions for scientists at every stage of their career.

For about 9 weeks I was part of the atmospheric research group investigating meteorological extremes in observations, reanalysis and climate models all over the globe. Climate extremes often have severe impacts on societies and ecosystems such as droughts or floods. Different types of extremes, e.g. heat waves, are expected to increase in frequency and intensity along with anthropogenic climate change. Before making assumptions about future events natural variability and trends of observed extremes have to be addressed.

My research during the time at the CCRC mainly consisted of analysis about time development of climate extremes in temperature and precipitation in gridded observational data sets and different reanalysis products. A set of extreme indices which was developed by CCRC members shows both agreement and discrepancies between the different data sets. While there is consistency in trends for extreme temperatures especially for the three most recent decades, indices for extreme precipitation generally show an increase but agree less in magnitude.Together with work carried out at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis these findings are currently summarised and will be published soon.