AbstractThe influence of atmospheric circulation on winter temperature and precipitation trends over Europe in the period 2006-2050 is investigated in a 21-member initial condition ensemble from a fully-coupled global climate model and in a multi-model framework consisting of 40 different models. Five versions of a dynamical adjustment method based on empirical orthogonal function analysis of sea level pressure are introduced and their performance in removing the effect of atmospheric circulation on temperature and precipitation is tested. The differences in atmospheric circulation as simulated by different models in their control runs and under the historical and RCP8.5 forcing scenarios are investigated. Dynamical adjustment is applied to the multi-model ensemble to demonstrate that a substantial fraction of the uncertainty in projected European temperature and precipitation trends is explained by atmospheric circulation variability. A statistically significant response of sea level pressure to anthropogenic forcing is identified in the multi-model ensemble under the RCP8.5 scenario. This forced response in atmospheric circulation is associated with a dynamical contribution to the long-term multi-model mean temperature and precipitation trends. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for the impact of atmospheric circulation variability on trends in regional climate projections.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 28, 2017
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