Future climate in Europe: warm and dry summers in the south, mild and wet winters in the north.

As part of the PRUDENCE project Dr. Jouni Räisänen and his collegues at the Rossby Centre at SMHI have analyzed simulations from the project. Their results have been published recently in Climate Dynamics (22, pp. 13-31, 2004, download here or mail for copy).

Four different realizations of future climate change were investigated. Two different emission scenarios and two different driving global models were used. The magnitude of the simulated climate changes differs between the experiments but all four experiments agree on:

  1. A future warming that will be largest in winter in northern Europe and largest in summer in southern Europe.
  2. Increased precipitation in northern Europe, especially during winter, and decreased precipitation in southern Europe during summer.

More ... or less ... precipitation in winter?

In some regions there are considerable differences between the experiments. A conspicuous example concerns the changes in wintertime precipitation in Norway. Depending on choice of the driving global model precipitation is either increased or decreased. The simulations show the profound impact on the regional modelling results from the driving global model.

Simulated changes in winter (DJF) and summer (JJA) precipitation from the period 1961-1990 to 2071-2100. Results from the Rossby Centre regional climate model are shown. To the left boundary conditions from the Hadley Centre and to the right boundary conditions from the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology are used.