Weather extremes over Europe under 1.5 and 2.0 °C global warming from HAPPI regional climate ensemble simulations

Sieck, Kevin; Nam, Christine; Bouwer, Laurens M.; Rechid, Diana; Jacob, Daniela

This paper presents a novel dataset of regional climate model simulations over Europe that significantly improves our ability to detect changes in weather extremes under low and moderate levels of global warming. This is a unique and physically consistent dataset, as it is derived from a large ensemble of regional climate model simulations. These simulations were driven by two global climate models from the international HAPPI consortium. The set consists of inline-formula100×10-year simulations and inline-formula25×10-year simulations, respectively. These large ensembles allow for regional climate change and weather extremes to be investigated with an improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to previous climate simulations. To demonstrate how adaptation-relevant information can be derived from the HAPPI dataset, changes in four climate indices for periods with 1.5 and 2.0 inline-formulaC global warming are quantified. These indices include number of days per year with daily mean near-surface apparent temperature of inline-formula>28inline-formulaC (ATG28); the yearly maximum 5-day sum of precipitation (RX5day); the daily precipitation intensity of the 50-year return period (RI50yr); and the annual consecutive dry days (CDDs). This work shows that even for a small signal in projected global mean temperature, changes of extreme temperature and precipitation indices can be robustly estimated. For temperature-related indices changes in percentiles can also be estimated with high confidence. Such data can form the basis for tailor-made climate information that can aid adaptive measures at policy-relevant scales, indicating potential impacts at low levels of global warming at steps of 0.5 inline-formulaC.

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Sieck, Kevin / Nam, Christine / Bouwer, Laurens M. / et al: Weather extremes over Europe under 1.5 and 2.0 °C global warming from HAPPI regional climate ensemble simulations. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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