Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 217–234

Climate change scenarios for precipitation extremes in Portugal

  • Ana C. Costa
  • João A. Santos
  • Joaquim G. Pinto
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00704-011-0528-3

Cite this article as:
Costa, A.C., Santos, J.A. & Pinto, J.G. Theor Appl Climatol (2012) 108: 217. doi:10.1007/s00704-011-0528-3

Abstract

Precipitation indices are commonly used as climate change indicators. Considering four Climate Variability and Predictability-recommended indices, this study assesses possible changes in their spatial patterns over Portugal under future climatic conditions. Precipitation data from the regional climate model Consortium for Small-Scale Modelling–Climate version of the Local Model (CCLM) ensemble simulations with ECHAM5/MPI-OM1 boundary conditions are used for this purpose. For recent–past, medians and probability density functions of the CCLM-based indices are validated against station-based and gridded observational dataset from ENSEMBLES-based (gridded daily precipitation data provided by the European Climate Assessment & Dataset project) indices. It is demonstrated that the model is able to realistically reproduce not only precipitation but also the corresponding extreme indices. Climate change projections for 2071–2100 (A1B and B1 SRES scenarios) reveal significant decreases in total precipitation, particularly in autumn over northwestern and southern Portugal, though changes exhibit distinct local and seasonal patterns and are typically stronger for A1B than for B1. The increase in winter precipitation over northeastern Portugal in A1B is the most important exception to the overall drying trend. Contributions of extreme precipitation events to total precipitation are also expected to increase, mainly in winter and spring over northeastern Portugal. Strong projected increases in the dry spell lengths in autumn and spring are also noteworthy, giving evidence for an extension of the dry season from summer to spring and autumn. Although no coupling analysis is undertaken, these changes are qualitatively related to modifications in the large-scale circulation over the Euro-Atlantic area, more specifically to shifts in the position of the Azores High and associated changes in the large-scale pressure gradient over the area.

Abbreviations

CCLM COSMO-CLM

Consortium for Small-Scale Modelling–Climate version of the Local Model

GCM

Global climate model

GHG

Greenhouse gas

IPCC

International Panel on Climate Change

MSLP

Mean sea level pressure

NAO

North Atlantic Oscillation

RCM

Regional climate model

SRES

Synthesis Report on Emission Scenarios

WMW

Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney

Supplementary material

704_2011_528_Fig8_ESM.jpg (95 kb)
Fig. A1

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the ensemble member 1 medians of PRCPTOT between future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000) in a autumn, b winter, c spring and d annual values (JPEG 95 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM1_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig9_ESM.jpg (86 kb)
Fig. A2

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the autumn ensemble member 1 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 86 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM2_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig10_ESM.jpg (94 kb)
Fig. A3

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the winter ensemble member 1 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 94 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM3_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig11_ESM.jpg (83 kb)
Fig. A4

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the spring ensemble member 1 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 82 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM4_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig12_ESM.jpg (90 kb)
Fig. A5

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the ensemble member 2 medians of PRCPTOT between future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000) in a autumn, b winter, c spring and d annual values (JPEG 90 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM5_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig13_ESM.jpg (92 kb)
Fig. A6

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the autumn ensemble member 2 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 91 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM6_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig14_ESM.jpg (92 kb)
Fig. A7

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the winter ensemble member 2 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 92 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM7_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig15_ESM.jpg (94 kb)
Fig. A8

Results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the spring ensemble member 2 medians of each index for future climate conditions under the A1B SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 94 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM8_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig16_ESM.jpg (90 kb)
Fig. A9

As Fig. 3 but for the B1 SRES scenario: results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the two-member ensemble medians of PRCPTOT between future climate conditions under the B1 SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000) in a autumn, b winter, c spring and d annual values (JPEG 90 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM9_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig17_ESM.jpg (91 kb)
Fig. A10

As Fig. 4 but for the B1 SRES scenario: results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the autumn two-member ensemble medians of each index for future climate conditions under the B1 SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 91 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM10_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig18_ESM.jpg (91 kb)
Fig. A11

As Fig. 5 but for the B1 SRES scenario: results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the winter two-member ensemble medians of each index for future climate conditions under the B1 SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 90 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM11_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig19_ESM.jpg (93 kb)
Fig. A12

As Fig. 6 but for the B1 SRES scenario: results of the one-sided Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests for the differences in the spring two-member ensemble medians of each index for future climate conditions under the B1 SRES scenario (2071–2100) and recent–past climate conditions (1961–2000): a Rx5day, b R95T, c R95pTOT and d CDD (JPEG 92 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM12_ESM.tif (11.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 12035 kb)
704_2011_528_Fig20_ESM.jpg (341 kb)
Fig. A13

As Fig. 7 (right panels) but for the B1 SRES scenario: anomalies between future (2071–2100) and recent–past (1961–2000) fields in the composites of the mean sea level pressure (in hectopascals) within the Euro-Atlantic sector simulated by the ECHAM5 under the B1 SRES scenario in a autumn, b winter and c spring. Only differences with a statistical significance level of 5% are depicted (JPEG 340 kb)

704_2011_528_MOESM13_ESM.tif (102 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 102 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana C. Costa
    • 1
  • João A. Santos
    • 2
  • Joaquim G. Pinto
    • 3
  1. 1.ISEGIUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, Physics DepartmentUniversity of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.Institute for Geophysics and MeteorologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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