CR 51:105-123 (2012)  -  doi:10.3354/cr01042

European drought regimes under mitigated and unmitigated climate change: application of the Community Integrated Assessment System (CIAS)

R. Warren1,*, R. M. S. Yu1, T. J. Osborn2, S. de la Nava Santos1

1 Tyndall Centre and 2Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

ABSTRACT: Climate change is expected to cause significant changes in the future distribution of precipitation, as well as in the frequency and intensity of high and low rainfall events across the world. In particular, there is an expectation of drying in southern Europe and wetting in northern Europe, with some regions such as southern UK experiencing drier summers and wetter winters. In this study, a community integrated assessment system (CIAS) is used to project the impacts of climate change associated with various emissions scenarios and in particular to demonstrate the extent to which climate mitigation policy might reduce the projected changes in drought regime for Europe under climate change scenarios over the 21st century. Components of CIAS include a simple climate model, MAGICC, and a spatial climate scenario generator, ClimGen, tuned to emulate 3 global general circulation model behaviours and climate change patterns. In baseline (no mitigation policy) cases, very large increases in drought are projected for southern Europe. However, stringent mitigation policy, in which CO2 concentrations stabilize at 450 or 400 ppm, produces very large reductions in both drought frequency and in total months of drought which would otherwise be experienced during 2050 to 2099, regardless of the global circulation model used to project the patterns of climate change across Europe. The study also illustrates a possible range of future drought scenarios which adaptation planners across Europe need to consider.


KEY WORDS: Drought · Climate change · Integrated assessment modelling · Climate mitigation · Adaptation · Climate variability


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Cite this article as: Warren R, Yu RMS, Osborn TJ, de la Nava Santos S (2012) European drought regimes under mitigated and unmitigated climate change: application of the Community Integrated Assessment System (CIAS). Clim Res 51:105-123

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