Original Article

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 563-578

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

EURO-CORDEX: new high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research

  • Daniela JacobAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM) Email author 
  • , Juliane PetersenAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM)
  • , Bastian EggertAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
  • , Antoinette AliasAffiliated withMétéo-France/CNRS, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM-GAME)
  • , Ole Bøssing ChristensenAffiliated withDanish Climate Centre, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)
  • , Laurens M. BouwerAffiliated withInstitute for Environmental Studies, Vrije UniversiteitDeltares
  • , Alain BraunAffiliated withMétéo-France/CNRS, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM-GAME)
  • , Augustin ColetteAffiliated withInstitut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)
  • , Michel DéquéAffiliated withMétéo-France/CNRS, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM-GAME)
    • , Goran GeorgievskiAffiliated withEnvironmental Meteorology, Brandenburg University of Technology
    • , Elena GeorgopoulouAffiliated withInstitute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD), National Observatory of Athens
    • , Andreas GobietAffiliated withWegener Center for Climate and Global Change and Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Meteorology, University of Graz
    • , Laurent MenutAffiliated withLaboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (IPSL), Ecole Polytechnique
    • , Grigory NikulinAffiliated withSwedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
    • , Andreas HaenslerAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Nils HempelmannAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Colin JonesAffiliated withSwedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
    • , Klaus KeulerAffiliated withEnvironmental Meteorology, Brandenburg University of Technology
    • , Sari KovatsAffiliated withLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
    • , Nico KrönerAffiliated withInstitute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich
    • , Sven KotlarskiAffiliated withInstitute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich
    • , Arne KriegsmannAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Eric MartinAffiliated withMétéo-France/CNRS, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM-GAME)
    • , Erik van MeijgaardAffiliated withRoyal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
    • , Christopher MoseleyAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM)
    • , Susanne PfeiferAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Swantje PreuschmannAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Christine RadermacherAffiliated withMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM)
    • , Kai RadtkeAffiliated withEnvironmental Meteorology, Brandenburg University of Technology
    • , Diana RechidAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM)
    • , Mark RounsevellAffiliated withDavid Kinloch Michie Chair of Rural Economy & Environmental Sustainability, Institute of Geography & the Lived Environment, School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh
    • , Patrick SamuelssonAffiliated withSwedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
    • , Samuel SomotAffiliated withMétéo-France/CNRS, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM-GAME)
    • , Jean-Francois SoussanaAffiliated withINRA, UR874, Grassland Ecosystems Research (UREP)
    • , Claas TeichmannAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtMax Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM)
    • , Riccardo ValentiniAffiliated withDepartment of Forest Science and Environment, University of TusciaEuro–Mediterranean Center for Climate Change
    • , Robert VautardAffiliated withLaboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, IPSL, CEA/CNRS/UVSQ
    • , Björn WeberAffiliated withClimate Service Center (CSC), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
    • , Pascal YiouAffiliated withLaboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, IPSL, CEA/CNRS/UVSQ

Abstract

A new high-resolution regional climate change ensemble has been established for Europe within the World Climate Research Program Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (EURO-CORDEX) initiative. The first set of simulations with a horizontal resolution of 12.5 km was completed for the new emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 with more simulations expected to follow. The aim of this paper is to present this data set to the different communities active in regional climate modelling, impact assessment and adaptation. The EURO-CORDEX ensemble results have been compared to the SRES A1B simulation results achieved within the ENSEMBLES project. The large-scale patterns of changes in mean temperature and precipitation are similar in all three scenarios, but they differ in regional details, which can partly be related to the higher resolution in EURO-CORDEX. The results strengthen those obtained in ENSEMBLES, but need further investigations. The analysis of impact indices shows that for RCP8.5, there is a substantially larger change projected for temperature-based indices than for RCP4.5. The difference is less pronounced for precipitation-based indices. Two effects of the increased resolution can be regarded as an added value of regional climate simulations. Regional climate model simulations provide higher daily precipitation intensities, which are completely missing in the global climate model simulations, and they provide a significantly different climate change of daily precipitation intensities resulting in a smoother shift from weak to moderate and high intensities.

Keywords

Regional climate change Impact indices EURO-CORDEX Heat wave Heavy precipitation Dry spells