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Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe. Sonia I. Seneviratne , Daniel Lüthi , et al. Corey Godine, Atmospheric Sciences Program. What is “coupling?”. Studies use two different hypotheses: Surface processes & future changes in radiation budget

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land atmosphere coupling and climate change in europe

Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe

Sonia I. Seneviratne, Daniel Lüthi, et al.

Corey Godine, Atmospheric Sciences Program

what is coupling
What is “coupling?”
  • Studies use two different hypotheses:
    • Surface processes & future changes in radiation budget
    • Future summertime atmospheric circulation modification
  • Models do not take into account increasing greenhouse gases likely in the future
  • Coupling = Atmospheric circulations (temperature or precipitation) + Soil moisture
what is coupling1
What is “coupling?”

Increased atmospheric greenhouse gases change coupling dynamics

Projected large fluxes in climatic extremes

Humans can’t cope with large variability

extreme summers in europe
Extreme Summers in Europe

HOT

2003 heatwave and drought

COLD

2002 and 2005 torrential flooding

the big ideas
The Big Ideas

Goal: Discover role of land-atmosphere coupling in yearly summer temperature & precipitation extremes in Europe

Researchers used several different models

Not a lot of math

Great Scot!

models and equations
Models and Equations
  • Four 30-year-long experiments (RCM)
    • Two recent (CTL, CTLuncoupled), 1960-1989
    • Two future (SCEN, SCENuncoupled), 2070-2099
    • Uncoupled models remove surface influences
  • Equations:
models and equations1
Models and Equations
  • Future regional model greenhouse gas scenario based on IPCC specifications
    • 3 numerical global models
  • Global scenarios from present and future

taken from 12 different IPCC

global models

analysis
Analysis

How does land-atmosphere coupling affect the future temperature/precipitation variability in Europe in the future?

slide9

Data from each individual model

Differences between each model

External forcings only (ie, atmospheric circulations)

External forcings + Land-atmosphere coupling

why such a large change in t
Why such a large change in T?

Large difference between GLACE (a present-climate model) and the model runs on previous page

CTL SCEN

why such a large change in t1
Why such a large change in T?

The percentage of variation in summer temperature due to land-atmosphere coupling

why such a large change in t2
Why such a large change in T?

Models show land-atmosphere coupling is correlated with a higher temperature change

SCEN predicts that land-atmosphere coupling will shift to east and north

Consistent with other recent model runs (IPCC, PRUDENCE)

evapotranspiration and temperature
Evapotranspiration and Temperature

Negative correlation = strong soil control over evapotranspiration (ie, coupling)

Positive correlation = strong atmospheric control over evapotranspiration (ie, uncoupled)

what about precipitation
What about precipitation?

Models are less certain about therelationship between land-atmosphere coupling and precipitation variability

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Land-atmosphere coupling is strongly affected by an increase in greenhouse gases
  • Northward shift of European climate zones
  • Strong positive correlation between land-atmosphere coupling and temperature variability
    • Strong negative correlation between coupling and evapotranspiration
  • Weak correlation between land-atmosphere coupling and precipitation variability
opinions
Opinions
  • Temperature correlations convincing
    • Run CTL and SCEN against more coupling models to confirm results
    • Would like more information about relationship between evapotranspiration and coupling
  • Needs more development in precipitation correlation
  • Teleconnection problems!
    • Many other process could contribute to projected shift in surface temperatures
    • Would have liked more accurate/effective global models to supplement regional models
slide17

Questions?

Thank you!