High resolution regional climate model simulations for Germany: Part II-projected climate changes

Wagner, Sven; Berg, Peter; Schädler, Gerd; Kunstmann, Harald
January 2013
Climate Dynamics;Jan2013, Vol. 40 Issue 1/2, p415
Academic Journal
The projected climate change signals of a five-member high resolution ensemble, based on two global climate models (GCMs: ECHAM5 and CCCma3) and two regional climate models (RCMs: CLM and WRF) are analysed in this paper (Part II of a two part paper). In Part I the performance of the models for the control period are presented. The RCMs use a two nest procedure over Europe and Germany with a final spatial resolution of 7 km to downscale the GCM simulations for the present (1971-2000) and future A1B scenario (2021-2050) time periods. The ensemble was extended by earlier simulations with the RCM REMO (driven by ECHAM5, two realisations) at a slightly coarser resolution. The climate change signals are evaluated and tested for significance for mean values and the seasonal cycles of temperature and precipitation, as well as for the intensity distribution of precipitation and the numbers of dry days and dry periods. All GCMs project a significant warming over Europe on seasonal and annual scales and the projected warming of the GCMs is retained in both nests of the RCMs, however, with added small variations. The mean warming over Germany of all ensemble members for the fine nest is in the range of 0.8 and 1.3 K with an average of 1.1 K. For mean annual precipitation the climate change signal varies in the range of −2 to 9 % over Germany within the ensemble. Changes in the number of wet days are projected in the range of ±4 % on the annual scale for the future time period. For the probability distribution of precipitation intensity, a decrease of lower intensities and an increase of moderate and higher intensities is projected by most ensemble members. For the mean values, the results indicate that the projected temperature change signal is caused mainly by the GCM and its initial condition (realisation), with little impact from the RCM. For precipitation, in addition, the RCM affects the climate change signal significantly.


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