Extreme rainfall is likely to become one of the most central consequences of our changing climate over the coming decades. SUPER explores whether large changes in short-duration extreme precipitation is to be expected in large cities, in the near, medium and long term future. The rate of extreme precipitation is rapidly increasing with global warming. Recent observations, backed up by modelling studies, show that daily maximum precipitation increases 3 times faster than daily mean precipitation globally. Hourly maximum precipitation is an even more crucial quantity.
Large cities and highly populated regions are vulnerable to the changes in such extreme precipitation, due to complexities in the infrastructure. Sudden flooding and erosion quickly leads to large economic and social cost. The influence of global warming on such short duration episodes of rain is still uncertain, but recent scientific findings indicate that increases in hourly maximum precipitation may be even higher than for daily extremes.
SUPER will combine observations with a suite of state-of-the art modelling tools, and explicitly account for precipitation-related factors typical for urban areas such as aerosols and urban heat island effect. SUPER goes
beyond existing research, and adds to present knowledge by studying how extreme precipitation (and aerosol-precipitation interaction) causes societal challenges on various scales, with focus on the populated regions in
particular over Europe. SUPER will take an existing, strong research group, and make it internationally leading.