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Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions

Stainforth, David A., Chapman, Sandra C. and Watkins, Nicholas W. (2013) Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions. Environmental Research Letters, 8 (3). ISSN 1748-9326

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Identification Number: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034031

Abstract

Climate change poses challenges for decision makers across society, not just in preparing for the climate of the future but even when planning for the climate of the present day. When making climate sensitive decisions, policy makers and adaptation planners would benefit from information on local scales and for user-specific quantiles (e.g. the hottest/coldest 5% of days) and thresholds (e.g. days above 28'C), not just mean changes. Here, we translate observations of weather into observations of climate change, providing maps of the changing shape of climatic temperature distributions across Europe since 1950. The provision of such information from observations is valuable to support decisions designed to be robust in today’s climate, while also providing data against which climate forecasting methods can be judged and interpreted. The general statement that the hottest summer days are warming faster than the coolest is made decision relevant by exposing how the regions of greatest warming are quantile and threshold dependent. In a band from Northern France to Denmark, where the response is greatest, the hottest days in the temperature distribution have seen changes of at least 2'C, over four times the global mean change over the same period. In winter the coldest nights are warming fastest, particularly in Scandinavia.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326
Additional Information: © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 09:37
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 05:07
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/53150

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