Received: 24 Jun 2016 – Accepted for review: 28 Jul 2016 – Discussion started: 01 Aug 2016
Abstract. Regional climate models can provide estimates for quantities that are difficult to study in empirical studies, such as cloud cover, wind, sea-ice or dependencies between variables. In this study, the regional climate model COSMO-CLM was used to simulate local climate conditions over the Barents region and provide projections for the three emission scenarios RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The results indicate that the most pronounced local warming can be expected in winter in the high Arctic near the present sea-ice border. The changes reach up to 20K, resulting in future temperatures close to melting. Similar spatial patterns are seen for changes in precipitation and wind in all scenarios, but with different amplitudes. Precipitation sensitivities, however, show the highest values along the west coast of Norway and in the Arctic during summer. For clouds, the projections show a decrease in winter mean cloud cover over sea and an increase over land, dominated by changes in low layer clouds. Over the Barents sea, convective cloud fraction is projected to increase, together with an increases in convective and total precipitation. In contrast to the COSMO-CLM and two other regional climate models taken into account, the ensemble mean of the driving global models shows an increasing trend in total cloud cover over the Barents sea. An analysis of the opposing trends reveals that there is an added value in the regional climate model projections for the Barents region.
How to cite: Dobler, A., Haugen, J. E., and Benestad, R. E.: Regional climate change projections for the Barents
region, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2016-27, in review, 2016.