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In the observational record half a degree matters

An Author Correction to this article was published on 29 January 2018

This article has been updated

Discriminating the climate impacts of half-degree warming increments is high on the post-Paris science agenda. Here we argue that evidence from the observational record provides useful guidance for such assessments.

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Figure 1: Differences in extreme weather event indices for 0.5 °C warming over the observational record.
Figure 2: Historical 0.5 °C warming is representative for 1.5 °C versus 2 °C differences.

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  • 29 January 2018

    In the version of this Commentary originally published, in Figs 1 and 2 in the main Commentary, as well as Figs 3, 9 and 11 in the Supplementary Information, the colours for HadEX2 and GHCNDEX were incorrectly switched: HadEX2 should have been blue and GHCNDEX should have been red. This has now been corrected in the online versions of the Commentary.


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We acknowledge the modelling groups, the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, and the WCRP's Working Group on Coupled Modelling for their roles in making available the CMIP multi-model datasets. Support for this dataset is provided by the Office of Science, US Department of Energy. We thank the CLIMDEX team for making available the gridded observational data sets at through the WMO ETCCDI, Linkage Project LP100200690. C.F.S. and P.P. acknowledge support by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (16_II_148_Global_A_IMPACT).

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Correspondence to Carl-Friedrich Schleussner.

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Schleussner, CF., Pfleiderer, P. & Fischer, E. In the observational record half a degree matters. Nature Clim Change 7, 460–462 (2017).

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