Emerging patterns of simulated regional climatic changes for the 21st century due to anthropogenic forcings

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We analyse temperature and precipitation changes for the late decades of the 21st century (with respect to present day conditions) over 23 land regions of the world from 18 recent transient, climate change experiments with coupled atmosphere-ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs). The analysis involves two different forcing scenarios and nine models, and it focuses on model agreement in the simulated regional changes for the summer and winter seasons. While to date very few conclusions have been presented on regional climatic changes, mostly limited to some broad latitudinal bands, our analysis shows that a number of consistent patterns of regional change across models and scenarios are now emerging. For temperature, in addition to maximum winter warming in northern high latitudes, warming much greater than the global average is found over Central Asia, Tibet and the Mediterranean region in summer. Consistent warming lower than the global average is found in some seasons over Southern South America, Southeast Asia and South Asia, while cases of inconsistent warming amplification compared to the global average occur mostly in some tropical and southern sub-tropical regions. Consistent increase in winter precipitation is found in northern high latitude regions, as well as Central Asia, Tibet, Western and Eastern North America, and Western and Eastern Africa regions. The experiments also indicate an increase in South Asia and East Asia summer monsoon precipitation. A number of regions show a consistent decrease in precipitation, such as Southern Africa and Australia in winter, the Mediterranean region in summer and Central America in both seasons. Possible physical mechanisms that lead to the simulated changes are discussed.

TidsskriftGeophysical Research Letters
Udgave nummer17
Sider (fra-til)3317-3320
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2001

ID: 186943238