, Volume 98, Issue 1-2, pp 21-49
Date: 10 Nov 2009

An assessment of global and regional climate change based on the EH5OM climate model ensemble

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Abstract

An analysis of climate change for global domain and for the European/Mediterranean region between the two periods, 1961–1990 (representing the twentieth century or “present” climate) and 2041–2070 (representing future climate), from the three-member ensemble of the EH5OM climate model under the IPCC A2 scenario was performed. Ensemble averages for winter and summer seasons were considered, but also intra-ensemble variations and the change of interannual variability between the two periods. First, model systematic errors are assessed because they could be closely related to uncertainties in climate change. A strengthening of westerlies (zonalization) over the northern Europe is associated with an erroneous increase in MSLP over the southern Europe. This increase in MSLP is related to a (partial) suppression of summer convective precipitation. Global warming in future climate is relatively uniform in the upper troposphere and it is associated with a 10% wind increase in the subtropical jet cores. However, spatial irregularities in the low-level temperature signal single out some regions as particularly sensitive to climate change. For Europe, the largest near-surface temperature increase in winter is found over its north-eastern part (more than 3°C), and the largest summer warming (over 3.5°C) is over south Europe. For south Europe, the increase in temperature averages is almost an order of magnitude larger than the increase in interannual variability. The magnitude of the warming is larger than the model systematic error, and the spread among the three model realisations is much smaller than the magnitude of climate change. This further supports the significance of estimated future temperature change. However, this is not the case for precipitation, implying therefore larger uncertainties for precipitation than for temperature in future climate projections.