Yann Chavaillaz

Ouranos Inc and Concordia University

Evolution of the characteristics of heat waves relative to cumulative carbon emissions

Authors: Yann Chavaillaz, Philippe Roy, Diane Chaumont, H. Damon Matthews

Cumulative carbon emissions are near linearly related to global and regional changes in surface air temperature, both in annual and seasonal means. This relationship remains similar over a large range of emissions. It enables to directly link emissions with climate changes for both decision-makers and the general public. It is also well suited for impact studies and mitigation measures. However, extremes and one-time events might have a stronger influence on our societies, ecosystems and infrastructures. Therefore, we focus here on the relationship between cumulative emissions and several relevant extreme events at both global and regional scale. We address the evolution of the duration, the intensity and the frequency of heat waves, droughts and extreme precipitation, by conducting climatic and statistical analyses such as extreme value theory. An ensemble of CMIP5 simulations is selected and several concentration scenarios are considered in order to assess the dependence of relationships on the rate of our emissions and on the implementation of CDR measures. Outcomes of this work may give supplementary insights to adjust the link between cumulative emissions and their impacts.

Yann Chavaillaz is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ouranos Inc and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His main motivation in research is to develop new ways to communicate about climate change to be relevant for general audience and to deliver useful results for end-users. He currently focuses on creating a catalogue of changes in the characteristics of extreme events in the province of Quebec due to abrupt climate changes occurring in the climate system and link them with cumulative carbon emissions. He also involved in several projects regarding consequences of climate engineering implementation, working capacity under extreme heat, floods and restoration of mining rejections.