Extremes in a Changing Climate - a Laboratory Approach EuHIT Funded Project


Uwe Harlander
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Cottbus, Germany


Research Infrastructure
Cottbus Turbulence Experiment Facilities, Germany
Facilities used
Baroclinic Wave Tank (CoGeoF1)
Project leader
Miklos Vincze
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary


The extreme value statistics of temperature fluctuations are to be investigated in the Cottbus baroclinic wave tank as a minimal experimental model of atmospheric circulation. The nonlinear, geostrophic turbulent nature of this model flow–-that has been found to produce surprisingly similar temperature statistics to the real atmosphere in several previous studies–-and the fact, that the experimental conditions are properly reproducible, makes this set-up a perfect test bed to apply and test some extreme statistical methods widely used in climatology. By gradually changing the lateral temperature temperature difference that drives the overturning flow in the system, it is possible to model a ”climate change-like” scenario. Such laboratory investigations may support the better understanding of the causal connections between the rapid global warming and the increasing number of unusually warm or cold seasons observed coincidentally in the past 30 years at the mid-latitudes of Earth.