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Journal Article

The extremely warm summer of 2018 in Sweden - Set in a historical context

MPS-Authors
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Matei,  Daniela
Director’s Research Group OES, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Tyrlis,  Evangelos
Director’s Research Group OES, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

esd-11-1107-2020.pdf
(Publisher version), 4MB

Supplementary Material (public)

esd-11-1107-2020-supplement.pdf
(Supplementary material), 496KB

Citation

Wilcke, R. A. I., Kjellström, E., Lin, C., Matei, D., Moberg, A., & Tyrlis, E. (2020). The extremely warm summer of 2018 in Sweden - Set in a historical context. Earth System Dynamics, 11, 1107-1121. doi:10.5194/esd-11-1107-2020.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-9E4C-3
Abstract
Two long-lasting high-pressure systems in summer 2018 led to persisting heatwaves over Scandinavia and other parts of Europe and an extended summer period with devastating impacts on agriculture, infrastructure, and human life. We use five climate model ensembles and the unique 263-year-long Stockholm temperature time series along with a composite 150-year-long time series for the whole of Sweden to set the latest heatwave in the summer of 2018 into historical perspective. With 263 years of data, we are able to grasp the pre-industrial period well and see a clear upward trend in temperature as well as upward trends in five heatwave indicators. With five climate model ensembles providing 20580 simulated summers representing the latest 70 years, we analyse the likelihood of such a heat event and how unusual the 2018 Swedish summer actually was. We find that conditions such as those observed in summer 2018 are present in all climate model ensembles. An exception is the monthly mean temperature for May for which 2018 was warmer than any member in one of the five climate model ensembles. However, even if the ensembles generally contain individual years like 2018, the comparison shows that such conditions are rare. For the indices assessed here, anomalies such as those observed in 2018 occur in a maximum of 5 of the ensemble members, sometimes even in less than 1. For all of the indices evaluated, we find that the probability of a summer such as that in 2018 has increased from relatively low values in the pre-industrial era (1861-1890, one ensemble) and the recent past (1951-1980, all five ensembles) to higher values in the most recent decades (1989-2018). An implication of this is that anthropogenic climate change has strongly increased the probability of a warm summer, such as the one observed 2018, occurring in Sweden. Despite this, we still find such summers in the pre-industrial climate in our simulations, albeit with a lower probability. © 2020 Copernicus GmbH. All rights reserved.