Unparalleled accuracy for European climate projections

Monday, 2 December 2013

An international team including CNRS, Météo-France, CEA, UVSQ and INERIS1 has carried out and analyzed2 an ensemble of climate projections for the whole of Europe at an unprecedented resolution of 12 km, by downscaling the global simulations performed for the 5th IPCC report. These simulations for the 21st century now provide a much more detailed representation of local phenomena and extreme events. Initial analyses confirm that there will be a significant increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, heatwaves and droughts. Data from the EURO-CORDEX project have just been published and made available to scientists. This should lead to more detailed studies of the impact of climate change in Europe on air quality, hydrology and extreme events, all of which affect key sectors such as energy, health and agriculture.

Mean annual distribution of heavy rainfall simulated for the present climate by one of the EURO-CORDEX high-resolution (12 km) models (left), corresponding to the new generation of simulations, and at low (50km) resolution (right). Note in particular the differences in mountain areas in Corsica. These distributions are the result of simulations, notobservations, and tharefore contain inaccuracies. ©Augustin Colette, INERIS


1The French laboratories concerned are the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL, CNRS/CEA/UVSQ) and the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques - Groupe d'Etude de l'Atmosphère Météorologique (CNRM-GAME, Météo-France/CNRS), together with the Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS).

2The analyses appear in particular in three recently published articles: Vautard, R. et al., 2012: The simulation of European heat waves from an ensemble of regional climate models within the EURO-CORDEX project. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-01-1714-z; Jacob, D. et al., 2013, EURO-CORDEX: New high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research, Regional Environmental change, doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0499-2; Colette, A. et al., 2013: European atmosphere in 2050, a regional air quality and climate perspective under CMIP5 scenarios. Atmos. Chem. and Phys., doi:10.5194/acpd-13-6455-2013

  • Robert Vautard, LSCE/OVSQ
    Robert [dot] Vautard [at] lsce [dot] ipsl [dot] fr, 01 69 08 26 40