DATE2019-01-08 12:44:23
IDABSTRACT2014/311
CONTACTsimone.russo@jrc.ec.europa.eu
PRESENTATIONORAL
INVITED0
IDSESSION3
TITLEEXTREME HEAT WAVES IN PRESENT CLIMATE AND THEIR PROJECTION IN A WARMING MEDITERRANEAN REGION
AUTHORSSimone Russo (1)|Alessandro Dosio (1)|Paulo Barbosa (1)|Juergen Vogt (1)
AFFILIATIONS
  1. European Commission Joint Reseach Centre, Ispra (VA), Italy
ABSTRACTHeat waves are defined as pronlonged periods of extremely hot weather and their magnitude and frequency are expected to increase over the next. Here we present a new Heat Wave Magnitude Index (HWMI) based on the analysis of daily maximum temperature, in order to classify the strongest heat waves that occurred in the Mediterranean region during three study periods 1980-1990, 1991-2001 and 2002-2012. In addition results from five different regional climate models provided by the ENSEMBLES project, and from the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) are used to project future occurrence and severity of heat waves, under different emission scenarios, i.e. A1B, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Understanding and quantifying on a unique scale the present-day heat waves is a crucial basis for a reliable projection into the future. By analyzing observed and modelled daily maximum temperatures in current climates, we conclude that in the Mediterranean heat waves have been increasing in frequency and magnitude in the most recent period 2002-2012 compared to the two earlier eleven-year periods. Moreover, model predictions suggest an increased probability of occurrence of severe heat waves in the coming 30-90 years: in particular, by the end of the century events of the same severity as the 2003 summer heat wave are projected to occur as often as every two years in the studied region.
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