Future surface temperature changes for the Iberian Peninsula according to EURO-CORDEX climate projections

Abstract

Future changes in the mean, maximum and minimum temperature in the Iberian Peninsula were investigated using bias-corrected EURO-CORDEX climate projections. The results show that the future temperatures are projected to substantially increase in all the Iberian Peninsula, particularly towards the end of the century at the south-central region. Mean and maximum temperatures are projected to increase around 2 °C (4 °C) for the 2046–2065 (2081–2100) period, with much higher frequencies of days above 20 (mean temperature) and 30 °C (maximum temperature). However, much higher increases are projected in the south of Spain, Cantabrian and Pyrinees mountain ranges, while lower ones are projected for the Atlantic coastal areas. In the south-central part of the Iberian Peninsula, hot days (mean temperature > 30 °C) are projected to increase 20–35 days/year (40–80 days/year) for the period 2046–2065 (2081–2100), while very hot days (maximum temperature > 40 °C) are projected to increase 10–25 days/year (10–50 days/year) for the period 2046–2065 (2081–2100). These results show a clear tendency, associated with a high confidence, in a significant increase of the surface temperatures and in the frequency of high temperature episodes in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, which can have severe impacts on the population, environment and economy. The currently hottest areas located in south-central Iberian Peninsula are also the ones with the highest projected temperature increases, which will significantly exacerbate the temperature stress in these areas.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme's Working Group on Regional Climate, the Working Group on Coupled Modelling, the modelling groups listed in Table 1 of this paper for producing and making available their model output, the Earth System Grid Federation infrastructure (an international effort led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison), the European Network for Earth System Modelling and other partners in the Global Organisation for Earth System Science Portals (GO-ESSP), the E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project UERRA (https://www.uerra.eu), the Copernicus Climate Change Service, and the data providers in the ECA&D project (https://www.ecad.eu). D. Carvalho acknowledges the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) for his researcher contract (CEECIND/01726/2017) and the FCT/MCTES for the financial support to CESAM (UIDP/50017/2020+UIDB/50017/2020), through national funds.

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Carvalho, D., Cardoso Pereira, S. & Rocha, A. Future surface temperature changes for the Iberian Peninsula according to EURO-CORDEX climate projections. Clim Dyn (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-020-05472-3

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Global warming
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • EURO-CORDEX