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Spatial co-localization of extreme weather events: a clear and present danger
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  • Rosalind Dodd,
  • David Chadwick,
  • Ian Harris,
  • Adrian Hines,
  • Dan Hollis,
  • Theo Economou,
  • Dylan Gwynn-Jones,
  • John Scullion,
  • David Robinson,
  • D.L. Jones
Rosalind Dodd
Lincoln University
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David Chadwick
Bangor University
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Ian Harris
Bangor University
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Adrian Hines
Met Office
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Dan Hollis
Met Office
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Theo Economou
University of Exeter, Met Office Hadley Centre
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Dylan Gwynn-Jones
Aberystwyth University
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John Scullion
Aberystwyth University
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David Robinson
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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D.L. Jones
Bangor University
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Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

22 May 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
29 May 2020Assigned to Editor
29 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
10 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned

Abstract

Extreme weather events have become a dominant feature of the narrative surrounding changes in global climate. with large impacts on ecosystem stability, functioning and resilience, however, understanding of their risk of co-occurrence at the regional scale is lacking. Based on the UK Met Office's long-term temperature and rainfall records, we present the first evidence demonstrating significant increases in the magnitude, direction of change and spatial co-localization of extreme weather events since 1961. Combining this new understanding with land use datasets allowed us to assess the likely consequences on future agricultural production and conservation priority areas. All land uses are impacted by the increasing risk of at least one extreme event and conservation areas were identified as hotspots of risk for the co-occurrence of multiple event types. Our findings provide a basis to regionally guide land use optimisation, land management practices and regulatory actions preserving ecosystem services against multiple climate threats.