INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, v.42, no.16, pp.8971 - 8983
It is of utmost importance to understand how precipitation extremes change due to global warming. Here, we examine the volatility of precipitation extremes by analysing the waiting time distribution between events and the clustering of precipitation extremes. For this we use the ERA5 reanalysis data and high-resolution simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM). We find significant evidence for a power-law distribution of waiting times between precipitation extremes and of serial clustering of precipitation extremes. This suggests that precipitation extremes do not occur independently from each other. This is in contrast with previous studies which typically assume that precipitation extreme events occur independently from each other. CESM reproduces these properties well. The climate change simulations show that the waiting times between precipitation extremes become shorter and that at the same time the clustering of precipitation extremes increases. Hence, global warming affects the temporal characteristics of precipitation extremes and, thus, precipitation extremes will become more volatile.