Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 138, Issue 3–4, pp 1269–1295 | Cite as

Weighted multi-model ensemble projection of extreme precipitation in the Mediterranean region using statistical downscaling

  • Luzia KeuppEmail author
  • Elke Hertig
  • Irena Kaspar-Ott
  • Felix Pollinger
  • Christoph Ring
  • Heiko Paeth
  • Jucundus Jacobeit
Original Paper


Projections of seasonal extreme precipitation changes in eight Mediterranean subregions between the end of the twentieth and the end of the twenty-first century are analyzed using weighted multi-model ensembles. Weights are based on the performance of predictor variables in the scope of statistical downscaling. Two indices of precipitation scarcity as well as two indices of heavy precipitation are downscaled from global climate model data of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 and 5 (CMIP3, CMIP5) multi-model ensembles, considering two emission scenarios each. Based on the performance with regard to observations of extreme precipitation as well as inter-model consistency, three weighting metrics are calculated and subsequently applied to each ensemble. While meteorological droughts are projected to increase in most cases, the tendency is less pronounced for heavy precipitation events and mostly points towards reduction. The weighting does not affect the multi-model mean changes, but induces a decrease of ensemble spread (although mostly not significant), implying a decrease of model uncertainty. As the ensemble and scenario considered have minor effect on the findings and also the differences between seasons and subregions are not marked, there is strong evidence for enhanced droughts in the Mediterranean region, implying major socio-economic and ecological consequences.


Climate change Model weighting Precipitation extremes Mediterranean Statistical downscaling GLM CMIP3 CMIP5 



We acknowledge the respective modeling groups as well as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) and the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) for producing, coordinating, and making available the CMIP3 and CMIP5 multi-model datasets. We also acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES ( and the data providers in the ECA&D project ( Further, NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis data was provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at Additionally, we appreciate the helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers.

Funding information

Financial support was provided by the DFG (German Research Foundation) within the project COMEPRO (Comparison of Metrics for Probabilistic Climate Change Projections of Mediterranean Precipitation) under contract PA 1194/10-1 and JA 831/11-1.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography and GeologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyUniversity of AugsburgAugsburgGermany

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