Growing Threats From Swings Between Hot and Wet Extremes in a Warmer World

Jiewen You, Shuo Wang, Boen Zhang, Colin Raymond, Tom Matthews

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The abrupt alternation between hot and wet extremes can lead to more severe societal impacts than isolated extremes. However, despite an understanding of hot and wet extremes separately, their temporally compounding characteristics are not well examined yet. Our study presents a comprehensive assessment of successive heat-pluvial and pluvial-heat events globally. We find that these successive extremes within a week occur every 6–7 years on average within warm seasons during 1956–2015, about 15% more often than would be expected by chance, and that they have a significant increase in frequency of about 22% per decade due to warming. We further investigate the role of vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and find that heat-pluvial (pluvial-heat) events are linked to negative (positive) VPD anomalies. Our results are statistically significant based on moving-blocks bootstrap resampling and field significance tests, highlighting these methods' importance in robustly identifying compound events under autocorrelation and multiple-testing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023GL104075
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023


  • compound events
  • heat
  • pluvial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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