Anthropogenic climate change over the Mediterranean region simulated by a global variable resolution model

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Climate Dynamics 2002 20 327 339 4


Abstract.: Two 30-year simulations corresponding to 1960–1989 and 2070–2099 have been performed with a variable resolution atmospheric model. The model has a maximum horizontal resolution of 0.5° over the Mediterranean Sea. Simulations are driven by IPCC-B2 scenario radiative forcing. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are prescribed from monthly observations for the present climate simulation, and from a blend of observations and coupled simulations for the scenario. Another pair of forced atmospheric simulations has been run under these forcings with the same uniform low resolution as the coupled model. Comparisons with observations show that the variable resolution model realistically reproduces the main climate characteristics of the Mediterranean region. At a global scale, changes in latitudinal temperature profiles are similar for the forced and coupled models, justifying the time-slice approach. The 2 m temperature and precipitation responses predict a warming and drying of the Mediterranean region. A comparison with the coupled simulation and forced low-resolution simulation shows that this pattern is robust. The decrease in mean precipitation is associated with a significant decrease in soil wetness, and could involve considerable impact on water resources around the Mediterranean basin.

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