Climate change projections for Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula). Part II: Integrating several methodologies

DOI: 10.3369/tethys.2012.9.02

Tethys no. 9 pp.: 13 - 24

Abstract

The publication of the fourth IPCC report, as well as the number of research results reported in recent years about the regionalization of climate projections, were the driving forces to justify the update of the report on climate change in Catalonia. Specifically, the new IPCC report contains new climate projections at global and continental scales, while several international projects (especially European projects PRUDENCE and ENSEMBLES) have produced continental-scale climate projections, which allow for distinguishing between European regions. For Spain, some of these results have been included in a document commissioned by the“State Agency of Meteorology”. In addition, initiatives are being developed within Catalonia (in particular, by the Meteorological Service of Catalonia) to downscale climate projections in this area. The present paper synthesizes results of these and other previously published studies, as well as our own analysis of results of the ENSEMBLES project. The aim is to propose scenarios of variation in temperature and rainfall in Catalonia during the 21st Century. Thus, by the middle of this century temperatures could rise up to 2ºC compared with that of the late 20th Century. These increases would probably be higher in summer than in winter, generalized across the territory but less pronounced in coastal areas. Rainfall, however, would not change much, but it could slightly decrease. Towards the end of the 21st Century, temperatures could rise to about 5ºC above that of the last century, while the average rainfall could decrease by more than 10%. Increases in temperature would be higher in summer and in areas further from the coast. Rainfall would decrease especially during the summer, while it could even increase in winter in mountainous areas such as the Pyrenees.

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Partially funded through grants CGL2007-29820-E/CLI, CGL2008-02804-E/, CGL2009-07417-E and CGL2011-14046-E of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation