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Heatwaves in Southeast Asia and Their Changes in a Warmer World
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  • Zizhen Dong,
  • Lin Wang,
  • Ying Sun,
  • Ting Hu,
  • Atsamon Limsakul,
  • Patama Singhruck,
  • Sittichai Pimonsree
Zizhen Dong
Yunnan University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Lin Wang
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Ying Sun
National Climate Center, China
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Ting Hu
National Climate Center, China
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Atsamon Limsakul
Environmental Research and Training Center
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Patama Singhruck
Chulalongkorn University
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Sittichai Pimonsree
University of Phayao
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Based on the observational dataset SA-OBS and model outputs from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble project, this study investigates heatwaves in Southeast Asia in the current and future warmer climate. A heatwave is detected when the daily maximum temperature exceeds the 90th percentile threshold at each grid for at least three consecutive days. Three characteristics describing the frequency, duration, and amplitude of heatwaves are examined, including the sum of heatwave days per year (HWF) satisfying the heatwave definition, the length of the longest yearly heatwave event (HWD), and the hottest amplitude of the hottest yearly heatwave event (HWA). Results indicate that increased global warming is associated with substantial changes in heatwave characteristics over Southeast Asia, with more frequent heatwaves, longer heatwave duration, and higher extreme temperatures. The increase in HWA has a linear growth against global warming levels with distinct regional differences between the Maritime Continent and the Indochina Peninsula due to their different heat content of lower atmospheric boundaries. In contrast, those in HWF and HWD have nonlinear growth characteristics. The projected warmer future tends to be associated with a higher risk ratio value with the occurrence of rarer extreme heatwaves relative to the current climate. These results reiterate the potential risks of extreme regional heatwaves if global warming is unrestricted.
Jul 2021Published in Earth's Future volume 9 issue 7. 10.1029/2021EF001992