21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


Analysis of expected change of extreme climate indices in the Carpathian basin by 2071-2100

Rita Pongrácz, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary; and J. Bartholy and P. Szabó

Regional climatological effects of global warming may be recognized not only in shifts of mean temperature and precipitation, but in the frequency and intensity changes of different climate extremes, which may especially affect the densely populated urban environment. Several climate extreme indices are analyzed and compared for the Carpathian basin (located in Central/Eastern Europe) following the guidelines suggested by the joint WMO-CCl/CLIVAR Working Group on climate change detection. Our statistical trend analysis includes the evaluation of several extreme temperature and precipitation indices, e.g., the numbers of severe cold days, winter days, frost days, cold days, warm days, summer days, hot days, extremely hot days, cold nights, warm nights, the intra-annual extreme temperature range, the heat wave duration, the growing season length, the number of wet days (using several threshold values defining extremes), the maximum number of consecutive dry days, the highest 1-day precipitation amount, the greatest 5-day rainfall total, the annual fraction due to extreme precipitation events, etc.

In order to evaluate the future trends (2071-2100), daily values of meteorological variables are obtained from the outputs of various regional climate model (RCM) experiments accomplished in the frame of the completed EU-project PRUDENCE (Prediction of Regional scenarios and Uncertainties for Defining EuropeaN Climate change risks and Effects). Horizontal resolution of the applied RCMs is 50 km. Both scenarios A2 and B2 are used to compare past and future trends of the extreme climate indices for the Carpathian basin. Analysis of the simulated daily temperature datasets suggests that the detected regional warming is expected to continue in the 21st century. Negative temperature extremes are projected to decrease while positive extremes tend to increase significantly. Expected changes of annual precipitation indices are small, but generally consistent with the detected trends of the 20th century. Based on the simulated daily precipitation datasets, extreme precipitation events are expected to become more intense and more frequent in winter, while drought is projected to become more intense in summer.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (312K)

Poster Session 5, Climate trends and extremes
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Hall 5

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