Extratropical cyclones and the projected decline of winter Mediterranean precipitation in the CMIP5 models

Zappa, Gieuseppe and Hawcroft, Matthew K. and Shaffrey, Len and Black, Emily and Brayshaw, David J. (2015) Extratropical cyclones and the projected decline of winter Mediterranean precipitation in the CMIP5 models. Climate Dynamics, 45 (7). pp. 1727-1738. ISSN 0930-7575

Abstract

The Mediterranean region has been identified as a climate change “hot-spot” due to a projected reduction in precipitation and fresh water availability which has potentially large socio-economic impacts. To increase confidence in these projections, it is important to physically understand how this precipitation reduction occurs. This study quantifies the impact on winter Mediterranean precipitation due to changes in extratropical cyclones in 17 CMIP5 climate models. In each model, the extratropical cyclones are objectively tracked and a simple approach is applied to identify the precipitation associated to each cyclone. This allows us to decompose the Mediterranean precipitation reduction into a contribution due to changes in the number of cyclones and a contribution due to changes in the amount of precipitation generated by each cyclone. The results show that the projected Mediterranean precipitation reduction in winter is strongly related to a decrease in the number of Mediterranean cyclones. However, the contribution from changes in the amount of precipitation generated by each cyclone are also locally important: in the East Mediterranean they amplify the precipitation trend due to the reduction in the number of cyclones, while in the North Mediterranean they compensate for it. Some of the processes that determine the opposing cyclone precipitation intensity responses in the North and East Mediterranean regions are investigated by exploring the CMIP5 inter-model spread.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 01:59
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 02:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: CMIP5, extratropical cycoles, Mediterranean climate, precipitation projections
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2426-8
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35939

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