Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496119
Title Resolution dependence of circulation forced future central European summer drying
Author(s) Haren, Ronald Van; Haarsma, Reindert J.; Vries, Hylke De; Oldenborgh, Geert Jan Van; Hazeleger, Wilco
Source Environmental Research Letters 10 (2015)5. - ISSN 1748-9326
Department(s) Meteorology and Air Quality
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) climate change - Europe - hydrological cycle

Climate model based projections suggest a drying of the central European summer climate toward the end of the century. In this study we investigate the influence of the spatial resolution of an atmosphere-only climate model (EC-Earth at two resolutions, ∼25 and ∼112 km horizontal) on the simulated summer drying in this area. High resolution models have a more realistic representation of circulation in the current climate and could provide more confidence on future projections of circulation forced drying. We find that the high resolution model is characterized by a stronger drying in spring and summer, mainly forced by circulation changes. The initial spring drying intensifies the summer drying by a positive soil moisture feedback. The results are confirmed by finding analogs of the difference between the high and medium-resolution model circulation in the natural variability in another ensemble of climate model simulations. In the current climate, these show the same precipitation difference pattern resulting from the summer circulation difference. In the future climate the spring circulation also plays a key role. We conclude that the reduction of circulation biases due to increased resolution gives higher confidence in the strong drying trend projected for central Europe by the high-resolution version of the model.

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