S. O. Krichak & J. S. Breitgand & R. Samuels & P. Alpert 2011: A double-resolution transient RCM climate change simulation experiment for near-coastal eastern zone of the Eastern Mediterranean region

Reference: Theoretical Applied Climatology 103:167–195

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The study examines future scenarios of precipitation extremes over Central Europe in an ensemble of 12 regional climate model (RCM) simulations with the 25-km resolution, carried out within the European project ENSEMBLES. We apply the region-of-influence method as a pooling scheme when estimating distributions of extremes, which consists in incorporating data from a ‘region’ (set of gridboxes) when fitting an extreme value distribution in any single gridbox. The method reduces random variations in the estimates of parameters of the extreme value distribution that result from large spatial variability of heavy precipitation. Although spatial patterns differ among the models, most RCMs simulate increases in high quantiles of precipitation amounts when averaged over the area for the late-twenty-first century (2070–2099) climate in both winter and summer. The sign as well as the magnitude of the projected change vary only little for individual parts of the distribution of daily precipitation in winter. In summer, on the other hand, the projected changes increase with the quantile of the distribution in all RCMs, and they are negative (positive) for parts of the distribution below (above) the 98% quantile if averaged over the RCMs. The increases in precipitation extremes in summer are projected in spite of a pronounced drying in most RCMs. Although a rather general qualitative agreement of the models concerning the projected changes of precipitation extremes is found in both winter and summer, the uncertainties in climate change scenarios remain large and would likely further increase considerably if a more complete ensemble of RCM simulations driven by a larger suite of global models and with a range of possible scenarios of the radiative forcing is available.

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