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CR prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01647

Climate change projections of maximum temperatures for southwest Iraq using statistical downscaling

Waqed Hammed Hassan*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Global warming as an aspect of climate change has caused environmental problems, especially in dry regions. Identifying and assessing future climate change is therefore paramount to facilitate suitable environmental planning to adapt to, and reduce, its effect. Here, changes in the annual and seasonal maximum temperatures for 7 meteorological stations in southwestern Iraq were predicted across two time periods: mid-term (2040–2069) and long-term (2070–2100). Three different General Circulation Models (GCMs), CanESM2, HadGEM2-ES, and MIROC5, were applied to two future emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), using a statistical downscaling model (SDSM) applied to data collected over the period 1975–2005. The downscaling modelling process was effective at generating maximum temperatures over the selected time periods. The future simulation scenarios predicted that temperatures will increase up to the end of the century, the region potentially experiencing temperature increases of about 1.78 to 2.07°C during 2040–2069 and 2.2 to 2.63°C during 2070–2100, under RCP4.5. Projected warming for scenario RCP8.5 was 2.18 to 2.85 °C and 2.93 to 3.7°C, over the same time periods. These projected increases in temperature imply water scarcity and increases in desertification which can be considered threats to the region.