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Köppen’s climate classification projections for the Iberian Peninsula

Cristina Andrade*, Joana Contente

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Projections of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification under future climate change are investigated by using a seven-ensemble mean of regional climate models attained from EURO-CORDEX. Maps with predicted future scenarios for temperature, precipitation and Köppen-Geiger classification are analyzed for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 in Iberia. Widespread statistically significant shifts in temperature, precipitation and climate regimes are projected towards 2041−2070 with higher expression for RCP8.5. An overall increase of temperatures and a decrease of precipitation in the south-southeast is foreseeable. Of the two climate types dry (B) and temperate (C), the dominant is C in 86% of the Iberian territory for 1961−1990 decreasing to 8.0% towards 2041−2070 for RCP4.5 (9.5% for RCP8.5). The hot-summer Mediterranean climate (CSa) progressively replaces CSb (warm-summer) type towards north in the northwestern half of Iberia until 2070. This shift, depicted by the SSIM index, is noticeable in Portugal with a projected settlement of CSa climate until 2041−2070. A foreseen retreat of humid subtropical (Cfa) and temperate oceanic (Cfb) areas in the northeast towards Pyrenees region is noteworthy, alongside an increase of desert (BW) and semi-desert (BS) climates (7.8% and 9%) that progressively sets in the southeast (between Granada and Valencia). The BSh and BWh non-existent in 1961−1990 are projected to represent 2.8% for RCP4.5 (5% for RCP8.5) of the territory in 2041−2070. The statistically significant projected changes hint at the disappearance of some vegetation species in certain regions of Iberia, with an expected increase of steppe, bush, grassland and wasteland vegetation typical of dry climates in the southeast.