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Extreme temperatures and precipitation in Europe - Analysis of a high-resolution climate change scenario

Funded under: FP7-JRC


Future climate change is generally believed to lead to an increase in climate variability and in the frequency and intensity of extreme events. In this report we analyse the changes in variability and extremes in temperature and precipitation in Europe by the end of this century, based on high-resolution (12 km) simulations of the regional climate model HIRHAM. The results suggest a general trend towards higher temperatures at the end of the 21st century. The magnitude of the changes is, however, not uniform across Europe and varies between seasons. Higher winter temperatures are prevalent in Eastern Europe and in the Alps, while higher summer temperatures mostly affect southern Europe. Also the changes in temperature variability differ between northern and southern Europe and between seasons. In winter the variability in the mean daily temperature decreases considerably in north-eastern Europe, while in summer there is an increase predominantly in southern Europe. Hot summer days and tropical nights become common in areas where such events were previously rare, e.g. in London and Stockholm. While July remains the hottest month in general, the changes in temperature are larger in August. This is also the month with the largest increase in extreme summer temperatures and the occurrence of heat waves. The changes in precipitation are very different between southern and northern Europe.

Additional information

Authors: DANKERS R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);HIEDERER R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 23291 EN (2008), 82 pp. Free of Charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: LB-NA-23291-EN-C)
Record Number: 200819929 / Last updated on: 2008-07-28
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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