A GCM Simulation of Heat Waves, Dry Spells, and Their Relationships to Circulation
- Cite this article as:
- Huth, R., Kyselý, J. & Pokorná, L. Climatic Change (2000) 46: 29. doi:10.1023/A:1005633925903
- 346 Downloads
Heat waves and dry spells are analyzed (i) at eightstations in south Moravia (Czech Republic), (ii) inthe control ECHAM3 GCM run at the gridpoint closest tothe study area, and (iii) in the ECHAM3 GCM run fordoubled CO2 concentrations (scenario A) at thesame gridpoint (heat waves only). The GCM outputs arevalidated both against individual station data andareally representative values. In the control run, theheat waves are too long, appear later in the year,peak at higher temperatures and their numbers areunder- (over-) estimated in June and July (in August).The simulated dry spells are too long, and the annualcycle of their occurrence is distorted.Mid-tropospheric circulation, and heat waves and dryspells are linked much less tightly in the controlclimate than in the observed. Since mid-troposphericcirculation is simulated fairly successfully, wesuggest the hypothesis that either the air-masstransformation and local processes are too strong inthe model or the simulated advection is too weak. Inthe scenario A climate, the heat waves become a commonphenomenon: warming of 4.5 °C in summer(difference between scenario A and control climates)induces a five-fold increase in the frequency oftropical days and an immense enhancement of extremityof heat waves. The results of the study underline theneed for (i) a proper validation of the GCM outputbefore a climate impact study is conducted and (ii)translation of large-scale information from GCMs intolocal scales using downscaling and stochasticmodelling techniques in order to reduce GCMs' biases.