Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists use new techniques to narrow down impact of global warming on specific regions


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.

Nicola Barrell | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>