Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Impact of global warming narrowed down to specific European regions

23.11.2005


People will soon be able to find out how vulnerable their own local area is to global warming, thanks to new techniques developed by scientists.



The STARDEX project’s seven European research teams, led by the University of East Anglia, narrowed down evidence of changing weather patterns to predict the occurrence of floods, heat waves and drought on even smaller regions across the UK and Europe.

And the new method of analysis could help governments prepare for or even prevent a predicted increase in flooding by up to 50 per cent in certain areas of the River Rhine and by 25 per cent in areas such as north-west England by the end of the century.


The European Union-funded project brought together expertise from across Europe to study the complex impacts of regional climate change.

Its report is published as United Nations leaders gather in Montreal, Canada, next week (November 28 to December 9) for the UN climate change conference to discuss the Kyoto Protocol and the impact of climate change.

In the past climate change analysts have only been able to predict the impact of global warming on temperature and rainfall by examining the output of global climate models every 250 km.

This large scale analysis meant that temperature and rainfall trends were averaged out resulting in generalizations about the impact of climate change on local regions.

The STARDEX project was the first European-wide study to apply a large variety of the best statistical and modeling techniques to determine the likely impact of climate change at specific sites. Termed downscaling, these techniques give a much better idea of possible changes in temperature and rainfall at the local scale.

The research groups used observed station data for six case study regions across Europe and a specially constructed dataset of 491 European wide daily station records to analyse climate trends over the past 40 years and likely changes at the end of the 21st century.

The UK based teams’ report reveals that by 2100 south-east and north-west England will see up to 25 per cent increase in heavy rainfall during five-day periods in winter -which leads to flooding - and up to 25 per cent decrease in rainfall in summer causing drought.
And these new statistics will help determine the chance of extreme weather in certain areas, taking into account local topography, enabling local populations to prepare for and even prevent disasters such as flooding and drought. At present at least five million people live in areas with a high risk of flooding in England and Wales.

The STARDEX report concludes that there is a need to develop even more efficient techniques to enable scientists to predict local impact. This work has already started as part of the ENSEMBLES integrated project which aims to further understand and reduce uncertainties in climate change predictions.

Dr Clare Goodess, of UEA’s Climatic Research Unit and STARDEX project coordinator, said: ’The STARDEX projections quantify the changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events that can be expected in individual European cities and regions if no action is taken to reduce human-induced global warming. The prospect of increased winter flooding will be alarming to inhabitants of cities such as Carlisle in NW England and Cologne in Germany with recent personal experience of the damage and disruption that such events cause.”

“Although more research is needed to increase our confidence in projections of summer rainfall, we are sufficiently confident in the projected increased risks of flooding, drought and heatwaves to believe that the need for action on climate change is more urgent than ever before,” added Dr Goodess.

European Case Studies

German Rhine: Significant increases in temperature extremes are expected by the end of the 21st century with more severe increases in summer accompanied by higher year to year variability. The magnitude and frequency of occurrence of heavy rainfall in winter is expected to rise in parts of the German Rhine Basin by 40 to 50 per cent by the end of 21st century .

Emilia Romagna: Significant increases are projected in temperature during winter, spring and autumn with resulting increase in heat waves and drought periods especially in autumn. The number of frost days is projected to decrease.

Greece Temperature means and extremes are projected to increase. An increase in rainfall is projected for winter in central continental Greece and in part of the Aegean Sea.

Iberian peninsula: For western Iberia the temperature in summer is expected to increase with the number of frost days decreasing.

Alps: Generally wetter conditions in winter with more intense extremes, in summer a tendency towards drier conditions.

Nicky Barrell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/projects/stardex/reports/STARDEX_FINAL_REPORT.pdf
http://www.uea.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>