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Atmosphere 2015, 6(5), 677-698; doi:10.3390/atmos6050677

Robustness of Ensemble Climate Projections Analyzed with Climate Signal Maps: Seasonal and Extreme Precipitation for Germany

1
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Climate Service Center 2.0, Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
2
Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
3
Climate Risk Analysis, 37581 Bad Gandersheim, Germany
Current Affiliation: Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), 8053 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anthony R. Lupo
Received: 18 February 2015 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
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Abstract

Climate signal maps can be used to identify regions where robust climate changes can be derived from an ensemble of climate change simulations. Here, robustness is defined as a combination of model agreement and the significance of the individual model projections. Climate signal maps do not show all information available from the model ensemble, but give a condensed view in order to be useful for non-climate scientists who have to assess climate change impact during the course of their work. Three different ensembles of regional climate projections have been analyzed regarding changes of seasonal mean and extreme precipitation (defined as the number of days exceeding the 95th percentile threshold of daily precipitation) for Germany, using climate signal maps. Although the models used and the scenario assumptions differ for the three ensembles (representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 vs. RCP8.5 vs. A1B), some similarities in the projections of future seasonal and extreme precipitation can be seen. For the winter season, both mean and extreme precipitation are projected to increase. The strength, robustness and regional pattern of this increase, however, depends on the ensemble. For summer, a robust decrease of mean precipitation can be detected only for small regions in southwestern Germany and only from two of the three ensembles, whereas none of them projects a robust increase of summer extreme precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: regional climate models; climate change; robustness; precipitation; Germany; EURO-CORDEX; ENSEMBLES regional climate models; climate change; robustness; precipitation; Germany; EURO-CORDEX; ENSEMBLES
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pfeifer, S.; Bülow, K.; Gobiet, A.; Hänsler, A.; Mudelsee, M.; Otto, J.; Rechid, D.; Teichmann, C.; Jacob, D. Robustness of Ensemble Climate Projections Analyzed with Climate Signal Maps: Seasonal and Extreme Precipitation for Germany. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 677-698.

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