Warming and wetting signals emerging from analysis of changes in climate extreme indices over South America
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Here we show and discuss the results of an assessment of changes in both area-averaged and station-based climate extreme indices over South America (SA) for the 1950-2010 and 1969-2009 periods using high-quality daily maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation series. A weeklong regional workshop in Guayaquil (Ecuador) provided the opportunity to extend the current picture of changes in climate extreme indices over SA.Our results provide evidence of warming and wetting across the whole SA since the mid-20th century onwards. Nighttime (minimum) temperature indices show the largest rates of warming (e.g. for tropical nights, cold and warm nights), while daytime (maximum) temperature indices also point to warming (e.g. for cold days, summer days, the annual lowest daytime temperature), but at lower rates than for minimums. Both tails of night-time temperatures have warmed by a similar magnitude, with cold days (the annual lowest nighttime and daytime temperatures) seeing reductions (increases). Trends are strong and moderate (moderate to weak) for regional-averaged (local) indices, most of them pointing to a less cold SA during the day and warmer night-time temperatures.Regionally-averaged precipitation indices show clear wetting and a signature of intensified heavy rain events over the eastern part of the continent. The annual amounts of rainfall are rising strongly over south-east SA (26.41. mm/decade) and Amazonia (16.09. mm/decade), but north-east Brazil and the western part of SA have experienced non-significant decreases. Very wet and extremely days, the annual maximum 5-day and 1-day precipitation show the largest upward trends, indicating an intensified rainfall signal for SA, particularly over Amazonia and south-east SA. Local trends for precipitation extreme indices are in general less coherent spatially, but with more general spatially coherent upward trends in extremely wet days over all SA.