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Improved confidence in climate change projections of precipitation further evaluated using daily statistics from ENSEMBLES models

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Abstract

Probability density functions for daily precipitation data are used as a validation tool comparing station measurements to seven transient regional climate model runs, with a horizontal resolution of 25 km and driven by the SRES A1B scenario forcing, within the ENSEMBLES project. The validation is performed for the control period 1961–1990 for eight predefined European subregions, and a ninth region enclosing all eight subregions, with different climate characteristics. Models that best match the observations are then used for making climate change projections of precipitation distributions during the twenty-first century for each subregion separately. We find, compared to the control period, a distinct decrease in the contribution to the total precipitation for days with moderate precipitation and a distinct increase for days with more intense precipitation. This change in contribution to the total precipitation is found to amplify with time during all of the twenty-first century with an average rate of 1.1% K−1. Furthermore, the crossover point separating the decreasing from the increasing contributions does not show any significant change with time for any specific subregion. These results are a confirmation and a specification of the results from a previous study using the same station measurements but with a regional climate model ensemble within the PRUDENCE project.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank for financial support from the European Union through the ENSEMBLES project (contract number GOCE-CT-2003-505539). Support for W.J. Gutowski’s participation was provided by US National Science Foundation grant ATM-0633567 and US Department of Energy grant DEFG0201ER63250. Data have been provided through the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECA&D) project (supported by the Network of European Meteorological Services EUMETNET) and the ENSEMBLES data archive, funded by the EU. ECA&D data are available at http://eca.knmi.nl.

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Correspondence to Fredrik Boberg.

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Boberg, F., Berg, P., Thejll, P. et al. Improved confidence in climate change projections of precipitation further evaluated using daily statistics from ENSEMBLES models. Clim Dyn 35, 1509–1520 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-009-0683-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-009-0683-8

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