Scenarios of climate change for the European Community

Elaine M. Barrow

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Two methods of climate scenario construction were developed, based on the output of general circulation models (GCMs), to provide a suite of possible future climate scenarios to be used by impact modellers. The first involved the construction of a composite pattern of climate change derived from the output of seven GCMs, while the second was based on the individual output of three GCMs run in equilibrium mode.

The composite scenarios indicated a consistent pattern, but altered magnitude, of climate change over time. In summer, warming was uniform over most of Europe, whereas in winter, warming was greater in northern Europe. There was much more variability in the pattern of precipitation change because of large differences in the precipitation patterns of the individual GCMs used in the construction of the composite. In summer, a decrease in precipitation may occur in southern Mediterranean countries, either no change or a decrease in central Europe and either no change or an increase in northern Europe. An increase in precipitation is likely in winter in central and northern Europe, no change or an increase in southern Europe and no change or a decrease in southern Spain, Italy and Greece.

Individual GCMs showed considerable geographical variation in both the magnitude and pattern of climate change, especially for precipitation. For temperature, the magnitude of the warming was similar for all models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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