Without stringent reductions in emission of greenhouse gases in the coming years, an exceedance of the 1.5°C temperature limit is increasingly likely. This has given rise to so-called temperature overshoot scenarios, in which the global mean surface air temperature exceeds a certain limit (i.e. 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels) before bringing temperatures back below that limit.

Despite their prominence in the climate mitigation literature, the implications of an overshoot for local climate impacts is still understudied.

Here we present a comprehensive analysis of implications of an overshoot for regional temperature and precipitation changes as well as climate extremes indices. Based on a multi-model comparison from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project we find that temperature changes are largely reversible in many regions, but also report significant land–ocean and latitudinal differences after an overshoot. For precipitation, the emerging picture is less clear. In many regions the drying or wetting trend is continued throughout the overshoot irrespective of a change in the global mean temperature trend with resulting consequences for extreme precipitation.

Taken together, our results indicate that even under a reversal of global mean temperature increase, regional climate changes may only be partially reversed in the decades after peak warming. We thus provide further evidence that overshooting of a warming level implies considerable risks on the regional level.