We analyzed simulations from 27 global climate models (table S3) from the CMIP5 database (25). These simulations included model runs with specific historical, natural, and anthropogenic forcings from 1861 to 2005 and included 21st century changes in anthropogenic aerosols and GHGs following the RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, and RCP 8.5 scenarios (59). If a model had multiple ensemble simulations, then we analyzed only the first ensemble run. All the monthly modeled data (e.g., temperature, precipitation, wind speed, solar radiation, and relative humidity) were first interpolated from the original model grids to a common grid with half-degree resolution and then bias-corrected using the delta method (62). Temperature and precipitation were bias-corrected on the basis of the observed 1961–1990 monthly climatology developed by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) (63), whereas the other variables were bias-corrected on the basis of the observed 1961–1990 monthly climatology data developed by the CRU of the University of East Anglia (64). This bias correction method ensured that the modeled variables had the same monthly climatology as the observations from CPC or CRU during the period 1961–1990.

In addition to the model simulations, the 0.5° gridded monthly observed temperature, precipitation, and PET datasets developed by the CRU (i.e., CRU-TS.3.25) (24) were used. These datasets were based on observations collected from thousands of weather stations around the globe from 1901 to 2016. Therefore, the CRU datasets can be used to evaluate the CMIP5 models.

A comparison of the SWS/EWS data for the period 1861–2010 from the climate models, i.e., the “control run” data from the ensemble of the CMIP5 climate models (table S3), with the CRU-based calculations over the same time period showed very good agreement in terms of various SWS characteristics (e.g., Fig. 3 and figs. S6 and S8). The CRU-based SWS within the 95% confidence interval of the CMIP5 simulations (fig. S6) showed very similar return probabilities of SWS events (Fig. 3B). Annual visualizations of the extent of SWS based on CRU (1901–2016) data and the GCMs (1861–2100) are available as part of the Supplementary Materials. The EWS data are available from the authors.

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