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Multi-model event attribution of the summer 2013 heat wave in Korea

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To assess the anthropogenic influence on the summer 2013 heat wave in Korea, this study employed a fraction of attributable risk (FAR) approach to three Atmospheric General Circulation Models (AGCMs) with a large ensemble simulation, participating in the C20C+ Detection and Attribution Project. Monthly and daily temperatures were compared between two experiments. The real world (ALL) experiments were simulated under the observed variations in sea surface temperature, sea ice, greenhouse gas, and aerosol concentrations, while the counterfactual world (NAT) experiments were performed under adjusted boundary conditions by removing anthropogenic warming and with preindustrial levels of greenhouse gases and aerosols. Results from the three AGCMs consistently show that anthropogenic influences had an important role in the extreme heat event over Korea, increasing the chance of the occurrence of extreme warming in summer mean temperature as observed in 2013 by at least 20 times, which supports results from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) coupled GCMs (CGCMs). A comparison of individual CMIP5 CGCMs suggests that inter-model difference in FAR values is highly correlated with the amplitude of surface warming centered over Korea, which is also supported by the three AGCMs. Further analysis of individual forcing experiments suggests that the inter-model difference in the regional surface warming is closely linked to the model's response to the aerosol forcing, with stronger influence than that of greenhouse gas forcing. Anthropogenic influences also result in a 5–6 times greater likelihood of extreme daily heat events as observed in 2013, which supports a robust mean-extreme relation in the attribution of extreme heat waves. Generally good agreement between AGCM and CGCM results increases the robustness of the conclusion of anthropogenic influences on the summer 2013 Korean heat wave.

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