Intensification of extreme European summer precipitation in a warmer climate

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Heavy and/or extended precipitation episodes with subsequent surface runoff can inflict catastrophic property damage and loss of human life. Thus, it is important to determine how the character of such events could change in response to greenhouse gas-induced global warming. Impacts of climate warming on severe precipitation events in Europe on a diurnal time scale were investigated with a high-resolution regional climate model for two of the greenhouse gas emission scenarios constructed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; Nakicenovic, N., et al., 2000, IPCC special report on emission scenarios, 599 pp., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK). A series of 30-year time slice experiments were conducted for periods representing the present (1961-1990) and the future (2071-2100). The large-scale initial and lateral boundary conditions were imposed from two different global models both originating from fully transient climate change simulations. Here, we show that although the summer time precipitation decreases over a substantial part of Europe in the scenarios analysed, an increase in the amount of precipitation exceeding the present-day 99th and in most cases even the 95th percentile is found for large areas. An analysis of daily precipitation over the entire European river catchments confirms this observation.

TidsskriftGlobal and Planetary Change
Udgave nummer1-4
Sider (fra-til)107-117
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 2004

ID: 186942162