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The European climate under a 2 degrees C global warming

Vautard, Robert; Gobiet, Andreas; Sobolowski, Stefan; Kjellstrom, Erik; Stegehuis, Annemiek; Watkiss, Paul; Mendlik, Thomas; Landgren, Oskar; Nikulin, Grigory and Teichmann, Claas, et al. (2014) In Environmental Research Letters 9(3).
Abstract
A global warming of 2 degrees C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change. The possible changes in regional climate under this target level of global warming have so far not been investigated in detail. Using an ensemble of 15 regional climate simulations downscaling six transient global climate simulations, we identify the respective time periods corresponding to 2 degrees C global warming, describe the range of projected changes for the European climate for this level of global warming, and investigate the uncertainty across the multi-model ensemble. Robust changes in mean and extreme... (More)
A global warming of 2 degrees C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change. The possible changes in regional climate under this target level of global warming have so far not been investigated in detail. Using an ensemble of 15 regional climate simulations downscaling six transient global climate simulations, we identify the respective time periods corresponding to 2 degrees C global warming, describe the range of projected changes for the European climate for this level of global warming, and investigate the uncertainty across the multi-model ensemble. Robust changes in mean and extreme temperature, precipitation, winds and surface energy budgets are found based on the ensemble of simulations. The results indicate that most of Europe will experience higher warming than the global average. They also reveal strong distributional patterns across Europe, which will be important in subsequent impact assessments and adaptation responses in different countries and regions. For instance, a North-South (West-East) warming gradient is found for summer (winter) along with a general increase in heavy precipitation and summer extreme temperatures. Tying the ensemble analysis to time periods with a prescribed global temperature change rather than fixed time periods allows for the identification of more robust regional patterns of temperature changes due to removal of some of the uncertainty related to the global models' climate sensitivity. (Less)
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
regional climate change, extreme events, European climate
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
9
issue
3
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:84897543499
ISSN
1748-9326
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/9/3/034006
project
MERGE
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
07c6a1e0-16f8-47f7-9076-94bec88cc1b2 (old id 4862550)
date added to LUP
2014-12-15 10:17:44
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:16:04
@article{07c6a1e0-16f8-47f7-9076-94bec88cc1b2,
  abstract     = {A global warming of 2 degrees C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change. The possible changes in regional climate under this target level of global warming have so far not been investigated in detail. Using an ensemble of 15 regional climate simulations downscaling six transient global climate simulations, we identify the respective time periods corresponding to 2 degrees C global warming, describe the range of projected changes for the European climate for this level of global warming, and investigate the uncertainty across the multi-model ensemble. Robust changes in mean and extreme temperature, precipitation, winds and surface energy budgets are found based on the ensemble of simulations. The results indicate that most of Europe will experience higher warming than the global average. They also reveal strong distributional patterns across Europe, which will be important in subsequent impact assessments and adaptation responses in different countries and regions. For instance, a North-South (West-East) warming gradient is found for summer (winter) along with a general increase in heavy precipitation and summer extreme temperatures. Tying the ensemble analysis to time periods with a prescribed global temperature change rather than fixed time periods allows for the identification of more robust regional patterns of temperature changes due to removal of some of the uncertainty related to the global models' climate sensitivity.},
  articleno    = {034006},
  author       = {Vautard, Robert and Gobiet, Andreas and Sobolowski, Stefan and Kjellstrom, Erik and Stegehuis, Annemiek and Watkiss, Paul and Mendlik, Thomas and Landgren, Oskar and Nikulin, Grigory and Teichmann, Claas and Jacob, Daniela},
  issn         = {1748-9326},
  keyword      = {regional climate change,extreme events,European climate},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {The European climate under a 2 degrees C global warming},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/9/3/034006},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2014},
}