Climate change information over Fenno-Scandinavia produced with a convection-permitting climate model
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This paper presents results from high-resolution climate change simulations that permit convection and resolve mesoscale orography at 3-km grid spacing over Fenno-Scandinavia using the HARMONIE-Climate (HCLIM) model. Two global climate models (GCMs) have been dynamically down-scaled for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios and for both near and far future periods in the 21st century. The warmer and moister climate conditions simulated in the GCMs lead to changes in precipitation characteristics. Higher precipitation amounts are simulated in fall, winter and spring, while in summer, precipitation increases in northern Fenno-Scandinavia and decreases in the southern parts of the domain. Both daily and sub-daily intense precipitation over Fenno-Scandinavia become more frequent at the expense of low-intensity events, with most pronounced shifts in summer. In the Scandinavian mountains, pronounced changes occur in the snow climate with a shift in precipitation falling as snow to rain, reduced snow cover and less days with a significant snow depth. HCLIM at 3-km grid spacing exhibits systematically different change responses in several aspects, e.g. a smaller shift from snow to rain in the western part of the Scandinavian mountains and a more consistent decrease in the urban heat island effect by the end of the 21st century. Most importantly, the high-resolution HCLIM shows a significantly stronger increase in summer hourly precipitation extremes compared to HCLIM at the intermediate 12-km grid spacing. In addition, an analysis of the statistical significance of precipitation changes indicates that simulated time periods of at least a couple of decades is recommended to achieve statistically robust results, a matter of important concern when running such high-resolution climate model experiments. The results presented here emphasizes the importance of using "convection-permitting" models to produce reliable climate change information over the Fenno-Scandinavian region.
|Status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 nov. 2022|