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Paper RSE 14004163

Extreme events in a new climate regime over Italy


Second Annual Conference on Climate Change: Scenarios, Impacts and Policy 29-30 , Settembre-2014.

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P. Faggian (RSE SpA)

EVOLRETE 2014 - Evolution and planning of the national electric system

Climate change projections over the Mediterranean region have been elaborated by using the outputs of ten ENSEMBLES models. The more significant signals expected by 2050 are: a significant warming (about 2 °C) and a likely drying (about 20%) in the southern Europe in summer; a greater occurrence of flooding and storms over coastal areas.

Climate change projections have been elaborated from seven regional climate change simulations provided by the ENSEMBLES Project, with an horizontal resolution of 25 km and driven by the SRES A1B scenario forcing. Temperature, precipitation and wind outputs at different time scale (daily, monthly, seasonal and annual) have been analysed with focus over Italy.

At first a model validation have been performed at seasonal scale, comparing temperature and precipitation values provided by ENSEMBLES simulations with EOBS gridded data-set (for the period 1961-2013), and ENSEMBLES wind intensities with ERA-Interim data (for the period 1981-2000). Then climate change projections for the twenty-year period 2031-2050 have been elaborated considering as reference period the years 1986-2005, according the new AR5 base period, aware that the last 5 years (2001-2005) ENSEMBLES simulations have been forced by SRES A1B emission scenario.

Beyond changes in mean values, some projections about the risk of extreme events (heat waves, drought, heavy precipitation events) have been investigated because of its impact on societal activity and, in particular, on energy demand. A significant warming is projected, above all in the summer season with a greater occurrence of extremely high temperature events. Precipitation and wind change signals are of more difficult interpretation but it is found a likely precipitation decrease during the summer season especially in the Southern of Italy, and an increasing of extreme precipitation events localized mostly over coastal areas.

No significant signals of strong wind changes have been detected in this study, but some results show the risk for an increasing number of strong storms events over different sub-regions depending on the season.

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