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Persistent Summer Extremes – PERSIST (2018-2022)

Summer extremes are particularly devastating when they persist for several days: many consecutive hot-and-dry days causing harvest failure, or stagnating wet extremes causing flooding.

Despite this importance, persistence of extreme summer weather has largely been neglected by the climate science community.

  • What maintains stagnating summer weather?
  • Do climate models capture the underlying processes accurately?
  • What is the role of global warming?

Persistence is linked to sea-surface temperature, soil moisture and atmospheric circulation which are expected to change with future warming but the uncertainties are large.

This study was conducted in collaboration with KNMI.

Contact information: Dim Coumou, Fei Luo and Sem Vijverberg.

For more information, please visit the site


  • Raymond, C. et al. (2019). Projections and Hazards of Future Extreme Heat. In Pfeffer, W.T., Smith, J.B. & Ebi, K.L. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Planning for Climate Change Hazards (pp. 1–43). Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190455811.013.59.
  • Kornhuber, K. et al. (2019). Amplified Rossby waves enhance risk of concurrent heatwaves in major breadbasket regions. Nature Climate Change.
  • Pfleiderer, P. et al. (2019). Summer weather becomes more persistent in a 2°C world. Nature Climate Change, 9, 666–671. doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0555-0