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Long-term variability of air temperature and precipitation conditions in the Polish Carpathians

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Abstract

Mountain regions are sensitive to climate changes, which make them good indicators of climate change. The aim of this study is to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of air temperature and precipitation in the Polish Carpathians. This study consists of climatological analyses for the historical period 1851-2010 and future projections for 2021-2100. The results confirm that there has been significant warming of the area and that this warming has been particularly pronounced over the last few decades and will continue in the oncoming years. Climate change is most evident in the foothills; however, these are the highest summits which have experienced the most intensive increases in temperature during the recent period. Precipitation does not demonstrate any substantial trend and has high year-to-year variability. The distribution of the annual temperature contour lines modelled for selected periods provides evidence of the upward shift of vertical climate zones in the Polish Carpathians, which reach approximately 350 meters, on average, what indicates further ecological consequences as ecosystems expand or become extinct and when there are changes in the hydrological cycle.

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Acknowledgments

Research carried out within the FORECOM project (Forest cover changes in mountainous regions–drivers, trajectories and implications, PSRP 008/2010), supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss contribution to the enlarged European Union.

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Correspondence to Agnieszka Wypych.

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Wypych, A., Ustrnul, Z. & Schmatz, D.R. Long-term variability of air temperature and precipitation conditions in the Polish Carpathians. J. Mt. Sci. 15, 237–253 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4374-3

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