08 Mar 2021

08 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Balanced estimate and uncertainty assessment of European climate change using the large EURO-CORDEX regional climate model ensemble

Guillaume Evin1, Samuel Somot2, and Benoit Hingray3 Guillaume Evin et al.
  • 1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, INRAE, UR ETGR, Grenoble, France
  • 2CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France, 42 avenue Coriolis 31057 Toulouse, France
  • 3Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, IGE, Grenoble, France

Abstract. Large Multiscenarios Multimodel Ensembles (MMEs) of regional climate model (RCM) experiments driven by Global Climate Models (GCM) are made available worldwide and aim at providing robust estimates of climate changes and associated uncertainties. Due to many missing combinations of emission scenarios and climate models leading to sparse Scenario-GCM-RCM matrices, these large ensembles are however very unbalanced, which makes uncertainty analyses impossible with standard approaches. In this paper, the uncertainty assessment is carried out by applying an advanced statistical approach, called QUALYPSO, to a very large ensemble of 87 EURO-CORDEX climate projections, the largest ensemble ever produced for regional projections in Europe. This analysis provides i) the most up-to-date and balanced estimates of mean changes for near-surface temperature and precipitation in Europe, ii) the total uncertainty of projections and its partition as a function of time, and iii) the list of the most important contributors to the model uncertainty. For changes of total precipitation and mean temperature in winter (DJF) and summer (JJA), the uncertainty due to RCMs can be as large as the uncertainty due to GCMs at the end of the century (2071–2099). Both uncertainty sources are mainly due to a small number of individual models clearly identified. Due to the highly unbalanced character of the MME, mean estimated changes can drastically differ from standard average estimates based on the raw ensemble of opportunity. For the RCP4.5 emission scenario in Central-Eastern Europe for instance, the difference between balanced and direct estimates are up to 0.8 °C for summer temperature changes and up to 20 % for summer precipitation changes at the end of the century.

Guillaume Evin et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-8', Rasmus Benestad, 25 Mar 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2021-8', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Jun 2021
    • CC2: 'Reply on RC2', Richard Rosen, 06 Jun 2021
      • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', Guillaume Evin, 16 Jul 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Guillaume Evin, 16 Jul 2021

Guillaume Evin et al.

Guillaume Evin et al.


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Short summary
This research paper proposes an assessment of mean climate change responses and related uncertainties over Europe, for mean seasonal temperature and total seasonal precipitation. An advanced statistical approach is applied to a large ensemble of 87 high-resolution EURO-CORDEX projections. For the first time, we provide a comprehensive estimation of the relative contribution of GCM and RCM climate models, of RCP scenarios and of internal variability to the total variance of a very large ensemble.