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Mediterranean extreme precipitation: a multi-model assessment

Abstract

Exploiting the added value of the ensemble of high-resolution model simulations provided by the Med-CORDEX coordinated initiative, an updated assessment of Mediterranean extreme precipitation events as represented in different observational, reanalysis and modelling datasets is presented. A spatiotemporal characterisation of the long-term statistics of extreme precipitation is performed, using a number of different diagnostic indices. Employing a novel approach based on the timing of extreme precipitation events a number of physically consistent subregions are defined. The comparison of different diagnostics over the Mediterranean domain and physically homogeneous sub-domains is presented and discussed, focussing on the relative impact of several model configuration features (resolution, coupling, physical parameterisations) on the performance in reproducing extreme precipitation events. It is found that the agreement between the observed and modelled long-term statistics of extreme precipitation is more sensitive to the model physics, in particular convective parameterisation, than to other model configurations such as resolution and coupling.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Most simulations are performed for the period 1979–2011, with the exception of few models as indicated in Table 1.

  2. 2.

    It has to be noticed, however, that in such regions the density of stations is lower, possibly influencing the reliability of the observational reference dataset. Further discussion of this aspect is presented in Sect. 4.

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Acknowledgments

The present work has been funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea under the GEMINA and NEXTDATA projects. This work has been partially funded by the Spanish Government and the European Regional Development Fund, through grants CGL2007-66440-C04-02, CGL2010-18013 and CGL2013-47261-R.

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Correspondence to Leone Cavicchia.

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This paper is a contribution to the special issue on Med-CORDEX, an international coordinated initiative dedicated to the multi-component regional climate modelling (atmosphere, ocean, land surface, river) of the Mediterranean under the umbrella of HyMeX, CORDEX, and Med-CLIVAR and coordinated by Samuel Somot, Paolo Ruti, Erika Coppola, Gianmaria Sannino, Bodo Ahrens, and Gabriel Jordà.

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Cavicchia, L., Scoccimarro, E., Gualdi, S. et al. Mediterranean extreme precipitation: a multi-model assessment. Clim Dyn 51, 901–913 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-016-3245-x

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Keywords

  • Extreme precipitation
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Regional climate modelling