IMAGe Seminar- How to revise return periods for record events in a changing climate

10/13/2015 - 12:00pm

Philippe Naveau, IPSL-CNRS, France

In collaboration with A. Hannart, A. Ribes and F. Zwiers, CNRS

Breaking a record simply means that the current observation exceeds all past measurements. Such a type of an event is regularly followed to a media frenzy and, in such instances, climatologists are often asked if the frequency of this record is different from previous ones.

This leads to the question of Detection and Attribution (D&A) ("Detection" is the process of demonstrating that climate has changed in some defined statistical sense, without providing a reason for that change and "Attribution" is the process of establishing the most likely causes for the detected change with some defined level of confidence, see the IPCC definition).

The field of statistics has become one of the mathematical foundations in D&A studies because computing uncertainties represent difficult inferential challenges when analyzing small probabilities.

In this context, we will give a brief overview on the main statistical concepts underpinning the D&A and propose new methodological approaches to revise return periods for record events in a changing climate. We will show the advantages of our method throughout theoretical results and simulation studies.

October 13, 2015 at noon

Mesa Laboratory - Damon Room