What can we say about future climate in Europe at different global warming levels based on regional climate model scenarios?

11:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S8


Erik Kjellström (Sweden) 1; Grigory Nikulin (Sweden) 1; Gustav Strandberg (Sweden) 1; Helena Martins (Sweden) 1

1 - Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute

Informed work on adaptation to climate change needs relevant information about possible future climate conditions at scales relevant for the climate change impacts of interest. In this study we present results from a large ensemble of EURO-CORDEX high-resolution regional climate model (RCM) simulations at 12.5 km horizontal resolution covering Europe. The ensemble consists of a range of RCMs that have been used for downscaling different GCMs under different radiative forcing scenarios. We present changes in a number of impact-relevant indices.

The results indicate considerable near-surface warming already at 1.5°C global warming exceeding that of the global mean in most parts of Europe. Changes are becoming increasingly more pronounced and more robust within the ensemble at 2°C and at higher levels of global warming. Notably for winter, the changes in many indices are shown to be modulated by changes in mean sea level pressure indicating a strong relationship with the large-scale circulation and its internal variability as given by the choice of global climate model. For some other indices and in other seasons, however, we find stronger dependency on the choice of regional climate model indicating that local and regional processes have a strong impact on the simulated climate change. By comparing to a larger ensemble of CMIP5 GCMs we find that the RCMs can alter the results leading either to attenuation or amplification of the climate change signal in the underlying GCMs.