To support the development of national adaptation policies and measures addressing climate change impacts over Italy, this work aims to analyze projected changes in mean temperatures and precipitations, and extreme events such as droughts and floods, highlighting some local trends in the different Italian regions that have been little considered to date. The investigations are made on the basis of a set of high-resolution Euro-CORDEX models (horizontal resolution 0.11°, about 12 km) to infer quantitative assessments about the danger of climate changes under three different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs): business as usual scenario, i.e., without a reduction in green-house gas emissions (RCP 8.5), medium stabilization scenario (RCP 4.5) and mitigation scenario (RCP 2.6). After filtering the models with limited performances in reconstructing the current climate, the multi-model climate change scenarios were characterized by comparing the ensemble mean values computed for the base-line period (1971–2000) with those elaborated for the short- (2021–2050), medium- (2041–2070) and long-term (2071–2100). Two WMO ETCCDI indices were considered to investigate climate extremes: Consecutive Dry Days and extreme precipitations. Despite some uncertainties (related to discrepancies among the models), drought conditions and extreme precipitations will likely exacerbate in the coming decades without mitigation (RCP 8.5). Such conditions will be less critical if partial mitigation actions will be undertaken (RCP 4.5) and are expected to be significantly reduced with decarbonization policies (RCP 2.6).
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