, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 123-140

Secular trends in daily precipitation characteristics: greenhouse gas simulation with a coupled AOGCM

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Abstract.

Secular trends of daily precipitation characteristics are considered in the transient climate change experiment with a coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model ECHAM4/OPYC3 for 1900–2099. The climate forcing is due to increasing concentrations of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Mean daily precipitation, precipitation intensity, probability of wet days and parameters of the gamma distribution are analyzed. Particular attention is paid to the changes of heavy precipitation. Analysis of the annual mean precipitation trends for 1900–1999 revealed general agreement with observations with significant positive trends in mean precipitation over continental areas. In the 2000–2099 period precipitation trend patterns followed the tendency obtained for 1900–1999 but with significantly increased magnitudes. Unlike the annual mean precipitation trends for which negative values were found for some continental areas, the mean precipitation intensity and scale parameter of the fitted gamma distribution increased over all land territories. Negative trends in the number of wet days were found over most of the land areas except high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The shape parameter of the gamma distribution in general revealed a slight negative trend in the areas of the precipitation increase. Investigation of daily precipitation revealed an unproportional increase of heavy precipitation events for the land areas including local maxima in Europe and the eastern United States.

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