Biggest changes coming to Scandinavia
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Even if global warming limited to the 2 degree Celsius target level, parts of Europe will warm much more than the global average, with the biggest increases in Scandinavia and Russia, where temperatures are likely to climb up to 6 degrees Celsius in the next few decades.
A new study, published in the IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, shows robust precipitation increases over Central and Northern Europe in the winter and Northern Europe in the summer, with a more extreme precipitation events, increasing the flood risks which are already having significant economic consequences. Southern Europe is an exception, and will experience a general decline in mean precipitation.
The latest projections are based on ever-more accurate regional climate models that also project changing rainfall patterns across Europe. The findings suggest northwestern Europe, specifically the UK, will see relatively less warming.
Daily maximum temperatures over southeastern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula could go up by 3 degrees Celsius and rise well above 40 degrees Celsius in regions that already experience some of the highest temperatures in Europe, such as Spain, Portugal and France. Such higher temperatures will increase evaporation and drought.
“The 2 degree Celsius warming target has mainly been decided among nations as a limit not to exceed in order to avoid possibly dangerous climate change,” said lead author of the research Robert Vautard, from Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (CEA/CNRS/UVSQ). “However, the consequences of such a warming, at the scale of a continent like Europe, have not yet been quantified. We find that, even for such an ambitious target as 2 degrees Celsius, changes in European climate are significant and will lead to significant impacts.”
To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers used an ensemble of 15 regional climate models to simulate climate changes under a scenario,representing rapid economic growth and a balanced approach to energy sources.
In addition to temperature and precipitation changes that may occur, the researchers also investigated atmospheric circulation and winds, but found no significant changes.
“Even if the 2 degree Celsius goal is achieved, Europe will experience impacts, and these are likely to exacerbate existing climate vulnerability. Further work on identifying key hotspots, potential impacts and advancing carefully planned adaptation is therefore needed,” the researchers concluded.
From Friday 7 March, this paper can be downloaded from http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/3/034006/article
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The European climate under a 2 °C global warming
3. The published version of the paper ‘The European climate under a 2 °C global warming’ (Robert Vautard, Andreas Gobiet, Stefan Sobolowski, Erik Kjellström, Annemiek Stegehuis, Paul Watkiss, Thomas Mendlik, Oskar Landgren, Grigory Nikulin, Claas Teichmann and Daniela Jacob Environ. Res. Lett. 9 034006) will be freely available online from Friday 7 March. It will be available at http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/3/034006/article