Robustness of European climate projections from dynamical downscaling

Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen*, Morten A.D. Larsen, Ole B. Christensen, Martin Drews, Martin Stendel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

How climate change will unfold in the years to come is a central topic in today’s environmental debate, in particular at the regional level. While projections using large ensembles of global climate models consistently indicate a future decrease in summer precipitation over southern Europe and an increase over northern Europe, individual models substantially modulate these distinct signals of change in precipitation. So far model improvements and higher resolution from regional downscaling have not been seen as able to resolve these disagreements. In this paper we assess whether 2 decades of investments in large ensembles of downscaling experiments with regional climate model simulations for Europe have contributed to a more robust model assessment of the future climate at a range of geographical scales. We study climate change projections of European seasonal temperature and precipitation using an ensemble-suite comprised by all readily available pan-European regional model projections for the twenty-first-century, representing increasing model resolution from ~ 50 to ~ 12 km grid distance, as well as lateral boundary and sea surface temperature conditions from a variety of global model simulations. Employing a simple scaling with global mean temperature change we identify emerging robust signals of future seasonal temperature and precipitation changes also found to resemble current observed trends, where these are judged to be statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume53
Issue number7-8
Pages (from-to)4857–4869
ISSN0930-7575
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Climate projections
  • CORDEX
  • ENSEMBLES
  • Pattern scaling
  • PRUDENCE
  • Regional climate model ensembles

Cite this

Christensen, Jens Hesselbjerg ; Larsen, Morten A.D. ; Christensen, Ole B. ; Drews, Martin ; Stendel, Martin. / Robustness of European climate projections from dynamical downscaling. In: Climate Dynamics. 2019 ; Vol. 53, No. 7-8. pp. 4857–4869.
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title = "Robustness of European climate projections from dynamical downscaling",
abstract = "How climate change will unfold in the years to come is a central topic in today’s environmental debate, in particular at the regional level. While projections using large ensembles of global climate models consistently indicate a future decrease in summer precipitation over southern Europe and an increase over northern Europe, individual models substantially modulate these distinct signals of change in precipitation. So far model improvements and higher resolution from regional downscaling have not been seen as able to resolve these disagreements. In this paper we assess whether 2 decades of investments in large ensembles of downscaling experiments with regional climate model simulations for Europe have contributed to a more robust model assessment of the future climate at a range of geographical scales. We study climate change projections of European seasonal temperature and precipitation using an ensemble-suite comprised by all readily available pan-European regional model projections for the twenty-first-century, representing increasing model resolution from ~ 50 to ~ 12 km grid distance, as well as lateral boundary and sea surface temperature conditions from a variety of global model simulations. Employing a simple scaling with global mean temperature change we identify emerging robust signals of future seasonal temperature and precipitation changes also found to resemble current observed trends, where these are judged to be statistically significant.",
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author = "Christensen, {Jens Hesselbjerg} and Larsen, {Morten A.D.} and Christensen, {Ole B.} and Martin Drews and Martin Stendel",
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Robustness of European climate projections from dynamical downscaling. / Christensen, Jens Hesselbjerg; Larsen, Morten A.D.; Christensen, Ole B.; Drews, Martin; Stendel, Martin.

In: Climate Dynamics, Vol. 53, No. 7-8, 2019, p. 4857–4869.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - How climate change will unfold in the years to come is a central topic in today’s environmental debate, in particular at the regional level. While projections using large ensembles of global climate models consistently indicate a future decrease in summer precipitation over southern Europe and an increase over northern Europe, individual models substantially modulate these distinct signals of change in precipitation. So far model improvements and higher resolution from regional downscaling have not been seen as able to resolve these disagreements. In this paper we assess whether 2 decades of investments in large ensembles of downscaling experiments with regional climate model simulations for Europe have contributed to a more robust model assessment of the future climate at a range of geographical scales. We study climate change projections of European seasonal temperature and precipitation using an ensemble-suite comprised by all readily available pan-European regional model projections for the twenty-first-century, representing increasing model resolution from ~ 50 to ~ 12 km grid distance, as well as lateral boundary and sea surface temperature conditions from a variety of global model simulations. Employing a simple scaling with global mean temperature change we identify emerging robust signals of future seasonal temperature and precipitation changes also found to resemble current observed trends, where these are judged to be statistically significant.

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