Tag Archives: heat wave

The return period of the 2003 heat wave

The paper on “on the return period of the 2003 heat wave” has been published online here, before Christmas. It should be published soon by Climatic Change, http://link.springer.com/article/...

Extremal events are difficult to model since it is difficult to characterize formally those events. The 2003 heat wave in Europe was not characterized by very high temperatures, but mainly the fact that night temperature were no cool enough for a long period of time. Hence, simulation of several models (either with heavy tailed noise or long range dependence) yield different estimations for the return period of that extremal event.

To go further on the impact on mortality (which was not the aim of the paper), there is a paper in Nature (here).

Modeling 2003’heatwave

Modeling the 2003 heatwave in Paris (paper)

In February 2005, opening the conference on Climate change: a global, national
and regional challenge, chairman Dennis Tirpak pointed out that there is no
longer any doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing […] globally, nine of
the past 10 years have been the warmest since records began in 1861“. He
singled out the heatwave that gripped western Europe in 2003 as an example:
Europe’s worst natural disaster in 50 years killed as many as 40; 000 people
and inflicted an estimated 30 billion dollars in damage. Hence, the summer of
2003 will be remembered for the extreme heat, and the approximately 40,000
heat-related deaths over western Europe (from 30,000 up to more than 52,000
depending on the source). More specifically, the period 1-15 August 2003 was
the most intense heat of the summer. The report of Pirard et al. (2005) states
that Europe experienced an unprecedented heat wave in the Summer 2003. In
France, it was the warmest summer recorded for 53 years in terms of minimal,
maximal and average temperature and in terms of duration
” […]