An analysis of the July 2006 heatwave extent in Europe compared to the record year of 2003 Article First Online: 18 February 2008 Received: 27 April 2007 Accepted: 03 November 2007 DOI:
10.1007/s00704-007-0370-9 Cite this article as: Rebetez, M., Dupont, O. & Giroud, M. Theor Appl Climatol (2009) 95: 1. doi:10.1007/s00704-007-0370-9 Summary
Recent analyses have identified summer warming trends in Europe in recent decades, culminating in 2003, when mean summer temperatures were exceptionally hot over much of Europe. Mean monthly temperatures were very high in July 2003 and reached record levels in both June and August. In 2006, the mean monthly temperature for July reached a record high. Our analysis of temperature observations shows that in July 2006, as in summer 2003, maximum temperatures were more abnormal than minimum values. The 2006 heatwave was located more to the north than in 2003, and particularly affected the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, France and Switzerland. The July 2006 anomalies were similar in magnitude to those of June and August 2003, but the discrepancy between minimum and maximum temperature anomalies was larger in 2006 compared to both June and August 2003. For maximum temperature, the affected land area by anomalies higher than 4–6 K was largest in July 2006, although the anomalies were higher in June and August 2003 at the most anomalous sites. In the north of Europe, the absolute monthly temperature values were higher in July 2006 compared to both June (also on the Iberian Peninsula) and August 2003.
Correspondence: Martine Rebetez, WSL Swiss Federal Research Institute, CP 96, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Barnett J (2001) Security and Climate Change. Working paper no. 7. Report No. 7, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Bell, JL, Sloan, LC, Snyder, MA 2004 Regional changes in extreme climatic events: a future climate scenario J Climate 17 81 87 CrossRef Google Scholar Black, E, Blackburn, M, Harrison, G, Hoskins, B, Methven, J 2004 Factors contributing to the summer 2003 European heatwave Weather 59 217 223 CrossRef Google Scholar De, US, Khole, M, Dandekar, MM 2004 Natural hazards associated with meteorological extreme events Nat Hazards 31 487 497 CrossRef Google Scholar Della-Marta, PM, Haylock, MR, Luterbacher, J, Wanner, H 2007a Doubled length of western European summer heat waves since 1880 J Geophys Res Atmosph 112 D15103 CrossRef Google Scholar Della-Marta, PM, Luterbacher, J, von Weissenfluh, H, Xoplaki, E, Brunet, M, Wanner, H 2007b Summer heat waves over western Europe 1880–2003, their relationship to large-scale forcings and predictability Clim Dynam 29 251 275 CrossRef Google Scholar Easterling, DR, Evans, JL, Groisman, PY, Karl, TR, Kunkel, KE, Ambenje, P 2000a Observed variability and trends in extreme climate events: a brief review Bull Amer Meteor Soc 81 417 425 CrossRef Google Scholar Easterling, DR, Karl, TR, Gallo, KP, Robinson, DA, Trenberth, KE, Dai, A 2000b Observed climate variability and change of relevance to the biosphere J Geophys Res-Atmosph 105 20101 20114 CrossRef Google Scholar Easterling, DR, Meehl, GA, Parmesan, C, Changnon, SA, Karl, TR, Mearns, LO 2000c Climate extremes: observations, modeling, and impacts Science 289 2068 2074 CrossRef Google Scholar Fink, A, Brucher, T, Kruger, A, Leckebusch, GC, Pinto, JG, Ulbrich, U 2004 The 2003 European summer heatwaves and drought – synoptic diagnosis and impacts Weather 59 2009 2216 CrossRef Google Scholar Fischer, EM, Seneviratne, SI, Luthi, D, Schaer, C 2007 Contribution of land-atmosphere coupling to recent European summer heat waves Geophys Res Lett 34 L06707 CrossRef Google Scholar Haines, A, Patz, JA 2004 Health effects of climate change J Am Med Assoc 291 99 103 CrossRef Google Scholar IPCC 2001Climate change 2001 IPCC Cambridge Google Scholar IPCC 2002Climate change 2001: Mitigation Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK Google Scholar IPCC 2007Climate change 2007 IPCC Cambridge Google Scholar Kovats, RS, Haines, A 2005 Global climate change and health: recent findings and future steps Can Med Assoc J 172 501 502 CrossRef Google Scholar Kunkel, KE, Pielke, RA, Changnon, SA 1999 Temporal fluctuations in weather and climate extremes that cause economic and human health impacts: a review Bull Amer Meteor Soc 80 1077 1098 CrossRef Google Scholar Luterbacher, J, Dietrich, D, Xoplaki, E, Grosjean, M, Wanner, H 2004 European seasonal and annual temperature variability, trends, and extremes since 1500 Science 303 1499 1503 CrossRef Google Scholar McMichael, A, Woodruff, R 2004 Climate change and risk to health Br Med J 329 1416 1417 CrossRef Google Scholar
McMichel AJ, Haines A, Slooff R, Kovats S (2004) Climate change and human health. WHO, WMO, UNEP, Washington
Meehl, GA, Karl, T, Easterling, DR, Changnon, S, Pielke, R, Changnon, D, Evans, J, Groisman, PY, Knutson, TR, Kunkel, KE, Mearns, LO, Parmesan, C, Pulwarty, R, Root, T, Sylves, RT, Whetton, P, Zwiers, F 2000 An introduction to trends in extreme weather and climate events: observations, socioeconomic impacts, terrestrial ecological impacts, and model projections Bull Amer Meteor Soc 81 413 416 CrossRef Google Scholar Menne, B, Bertollini, R, Kovats, S, Lindgren, E, Daniel, M, Kriz, B, Ebi, K, Hajat, S, Edwars, S, Haines, A, Alberini, A, Chiabai, A, van Lieshout, M, Martens, P, Jendritzky, G, Koppe, C, Klein, R, Fuessal, M 2003 European climate change health impact and adaptation assessment Epidemiology 14 S116 S116 CrossRef Google Scholar Murnane, RJ 2004 Climate research and reinsurance Bull Amer Meteor Soc 85 697 707 CrossRef Google Scholar Parmesan, C, Root, TL, Willig, MR 2000 Impacts of extreme weather and climate on terrestrial biota Bull Amer Meteor Soc 81 443 450 CrossRef Google Scholar Rebetez, M 2004 Summer 2003 maximum and minimum daily temperatures over a 3300 m altitudinal range in the Alps Climate Res 27 45 50 CrossRef Google Scholar Rebetez, M, Mayer, H, Dupont, O, Schindler, D, Gartner, K, Kropp, J, Menzel, A 2006 Heat and drought 2003 in Europe: a climate synthesis Ann For Sc 63 569 577 CrossRef Google Scholar Schaer, C, Vidale, PL, Luthi, D, Frei, C, Haberli, C, Liniger, MA, Appenzeller, C 2004 The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heatwaves Nature 427 332 336 CrossRef Google Scholar Schnur, R 2002 Climate science: the investment forecast Nature 415 483 484 CrossRef Google Scholar Schönwiese, CD, Staeger, T, Tromel, S 2004 The hot summer 2003 in Germany. Some preliminary results of a statistical time series analysis Meteorologische Zeitschrift 13 323 327 CrossRef Google Scholar Seneviratne, SI, Luthi, D, Litschi, M, Schaer, C 2006 Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe Nature 443 205 209 CrossRef Google Scholar Smoyer, KE 1998 A comparative analysis of heat waves and associated mortality in St. Louis, Missouri – 1980 and 1995 Int J Biometeorol 42 44 50 CrossRef Google Scholar Sparks, J, Changnon, D, Starke, J 2002 Changes in the frequency of extreme warm-season surface dewpoints in northeastern Illinois: implications for cooling-system design and operation J Appl Meteor 41 890 898 CrossRef Google Scholar Stephenson, J 2004 Climate change and health J Am Med Assoc 291 291 291 CrossRef Google Scholar Stott, PA, Stone, DA, Allen, MR 2004 Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003 Nature 432 610 614 CrossRef Google Scholar Trigo, RM, Garcia-Herrera, R, Diaz, J, Trigo, IF, Valente, MA 2005 How exceptional was the early August 2003 heatwave in France? Geophys Res Lett 32 L10701 CrossRef Google Scholar Vescovi, L, Rebetez, M, Rong, F 2005 Assessing public health risk due to extremely high temperature events: climate and social parameters Climate Res 30 71 78 CrossRef Google Scholar