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Future climate extreme events in the Mediterranean simulated by a regional climate model: a first approach

TitleFuture climate extreme events in the Mediterranean simulated by a regional climate model: a first approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSanchez E, Gallardo C, Gaertner MA, Arribas A, Castro M
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Keywordsanalyse de scénario, changement climatique, climate, climate change, climate extreme event, climate model, évènement climatique extrême, global warming, Mer Méditerranée, modèle climatique, modélisation, modelling, réchauffement, réchauffement global, research, scenario analysis, temperature, warming

Within the frame of PRUDENCE (Prediction of Regional scenarios and Uncertainties for Defining EuropeaN Climate change risks and Effects, EVK2-CT2001-00132), 5th Framework European programme project (2002-2005) European research project, two 30-year time-slice simulations with a regional climate model (PROMES-RCM) nested in the Hadley Centre global model have been performed: present-day climate (1961-1990) and one of the IPCC greenhouse gases emission future scenario (A2 IPCC-SRES) for 2071-2100. Model domain is centered in the Mediterranean basin, considered one of the most sensitive areas regarding to global warming and future climate extreme conditions. This study is based on objective indices to describe extreme climate events of maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation. The statistical frequency and persistence of cold spells, heat waves and intense rain days simulated in the current climate run are compared against the ones resulting from future scenario numerical experiment. Description of extreme processes in both intensity and frequency give a different and complementary overview of extreme events changes in future climate conditions for any of the magnitudes analyzed. In fact, a common feature obtained from the results is the absence of correlation between both magnitudes, as much as for temperatures as for precipitation. Results also point to the usefulness of very high-resolution models (RCM) to study extreme events, due to the great spatial variability obtained in any of the variables studied.

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