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Chances in the future summer Mediterranean climate: contribution of teleconnections and local factors

Journal article
Authors M. J. Barcikowska
S. B. Kapnick
L. Krishnamurty
S. Russo
A. Cherchi
Chris K. Folland
Published in Earth System Dynamics
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 161-181
ISSN 2190-4979
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 161-181
Language en
Keywords north-atlantic oscillation, hydrological cycle, subtropical, anticyclones, change projections, decadal trends, euro-cordex, variability, impact, land, circulation, Geology
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


This study analyzes future climate for the Mediterranean region projected with the high-resolution coupled CM2.5 model, which incorporates a new and improved land model (LM3). The simulated climate changes suggest pronounced warming and drying over most of the region. However, the changes are distinctly smaller than those of the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble. In addition, the changes over much of southeast and central Europe indicate very modest warming compared to the CMIP5 projections and also a tendency toward wetter conditions. These differences indicate a possible role of factors such as land surface-atmospheric interactions in these regions. Our analysis also highlights the importance of correctly projecting the magnitude of changes in the summer North Atlantic Oscillation, which has the capacity to partly offset anthropogenic warming and drying over the western and central Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the projections suggest a decreasing influence of local atmospheric dynamics and teleconnections in maintaining the regional temperature and precipitation balance, in particular over arid regions like the eastern and southern Mediterranean, which show a local maximum of warming and drying. The intensification of the heat low in these regions rather suggests an increasing influence of warming land surface on the local surface atmospheric circulation and progressing desertification.

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