Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better estimates for future extreme precipitation in Europe

29.03.2006

Researchers in Switzerland report that extreme rains in Europe may grow stronger and more frequent in the near future and have significant effects on the region’s infrastructure and natural systems. They aggregated a number of regional European climate models to produce more refined estimates of increases in precipitation extremes over most of the continent by the late 21st century than were previously available. Their research was published on 24 March in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

Christoph Frei and his coauthors at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) and at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom used a unique set of regional climate model simulations and statistical analysis tools from a pair of European Union projects--PRUDENCE and STARDEX--in six regional climate models to quantify the changes in exceptionally strong precipitation events over the next 100 years.

Their analysis shows that Alpine regions and northern European locations above 45 degrees latitude (including such major cities as London, Berlin, and Stockholm) are likely to experience increases in the frequency and strength of fall, winter and springtime extreme precipitation events by the year 2100. They report, for example, that in Scandinavia, unusually strong events that are now expected to occur once per century will occur at approximately 20-40 year intervals.

Global circulation and disconnected regional models had previously forecast increases in extreme precipitation, as higher atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are thought to heighten the frequency of such events worldwide. The combination of regional European models used in the current study adds to the detail available to researchers and provides improved estimates for the pattern, magnitude, and uncertainty of precipitation changes, as compared with larger, more general models.

"There are several implications for climate change research from this study," notes Frei, now at the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss). "First, it confirms the prospects of regional climate models as tools for deriving future scenarios of climate extremes. This has great impact on the design of future ensemble climate modeling projects."

The authors confirmed their results using the extensive rain gauge network already in place in the European Alps. They say that although the Alps cover only a limited part of the model’s domain, and its results cannot be extrapolated to other regions, their model analysis showed exceptional accuracy when compared with observational data at fine spatial scales that are not resolved in current global models.

By combining a number of different models, the researchers were able to use the varying techniques employed in regional climate modeling. They note that their study does not account for all sources of uncertainty, and should be interpreted as a possible scenario of future extreme precipitation events, but one with higher reliability than was previously possible.

The research was sponsored by the European Union, the Swiss Ministry for Education and Science, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Title: "Future change of precipitation extremes in Europe: An intercomparison of scenarios from regional climate models"

Authors: Christoph Frei, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; now at Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss), Zurich, Switzerland; Regina Schoell, Sophie Fukutome, Juerg Schmidli, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; Pier Luigi Vidale, Center for Global Atmospheric Modelling, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom.

Citation: Frei, C., R. Schoell, S. Fukutome, J. Schmidli, and P. L. Vidale (2006), Future change of precipitation extremes in Europe: Intercomparison of scenarios from regional climate models, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D06105, doi:10.1029/2005JD005965.

Contact information for author: Christoph Frei: christoph.frei@meteoswiss.ch or +41 44 256 9755

Harvey Leifert | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://www.agu.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars
20.04.2018 | Geological Society of America

nachricht Hurricane Harvey: Dutch-Texan research shows most fatalities occurred outside flood zones
19.04.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>