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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State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
Schewe, Jacob ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Reyer, Christopher ; Zhao, Fang ; Ciais, Philippe ; Elliott, Joshua ; Francois, Louis ; Huber, Veronika ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Seneviratne, Sonia I. ; Vliet, Michelle T.H. Van; Vautard, Robert ; Wada, Yoshihide ; Breuer, Lutz ; Büchner, Matthias ; Carozza, David A. ; Chang, Jinfeng ; Coll, Marta ; Deryng, Delphine ; Wit, Allard De; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Folberth, Christian ; Frieler, Katja ; Friend, Andrew D. ; Gerten, Dieter ; Gudmundsson, Lukas ; Hanasaki, Naota ; Ito, Akihiko ; Khabarov, Nikolay ; Kim, Hyungjun ; Lawrence, Peter ; Morfopoulos, Catherine ; Müller, Christoph ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Orth, René ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Pokhrel, Yadu ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. ; Sakurai, Gen ; Satoh, Yusuke ; Schmid, Erwin ; Stacke, Tobias ; Steenbeek, Jeroen ; Steinkamp, Jörg ; Tang, Qiuhong ; Tian, Hanqin ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Volkholz, Jan ; Wang, Xuhui ; Warszawski, Lila - \ 2019
Nature Communications 10 (2019). - ISSN 2041-1723
Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.
Vulnerabilities and resilience of European power generation to 1.5 °C, 2 °C and 3 °C warming
Tobin, I. ; Greuell, W. ; Jerez, S. ; Ludwig, F. ; Vautard, R. ; Vliet, M.T.H. van; Breón, F.M. - \ 2018
Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)4. - ISSN 1748-9318
climate change impacts - Electricity generation - hydropower - solar pv - thermoelectric - wind power
The electricity sector is currently considered mainly on the emission side of the climate change equation. In order to limit climate warming to below 2 °C, or even 1.5 °C, it must undergo a rapid transition towards carbon neutral production by the mid-century. Simultaneously, electricity generating technologies will be vulnerable to climate change. Here, we assess the impacts of climate change on wind, solar photovoltaic, hydro and thermoelectric power generation in Europe using a consistent modelling approach across the different technologies. We compare the impacts for different global warming scenarios: +1.5 °C, +2 °C and +3 °C. Results show that climate change has negative impacts on electricity production in most countries and for most technologies. Such impacts remain limited for a 1.5 °C warming, and roughly double for a 3 °C warming. Impacts are relatively limited for solar photovoltaic and wind power potential which may reduce up to 10%, while hydropower and thermoelectric generation may decrease by up to 20%. Generally, impacts are more severe in southern Europe than in northern Europe, inducing inequity between EU countries. We show that a higher share of renewables could reduce the vulnerability of power generation to climate change, although the variability of wind and solar PV production remains a significant challenge.
Climate Impacts in Europe Under +1.5°C Global Warming
Jacob, Daniela ; Kotova, Lola ; Teichmann, Claas ; Sobolowski, Stefan P. ; Vautard, Robert ; Donnelly, Chantal ; Koutroulis, Aristeidis G. ; Grillakis, Manolis G. ; Tsanis, Ioannis K. ; Damm, Andrea ; Sakalli, Abdulla ; Vliet, Michelle T.H. van - \ 2018
Earth's Future 6 (2018)2. - ISSN 2328-4277 - p. 264 - 285.
+1.5oC and +2oC global warming - Climate Change - Climate Change Impacts - Europe - IMPACT2C project
The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims not only at avoiding +2°C warming (and even limit the temperature increase further to +1.5°C), but also sets long-term goals to guide mitigation. Therefore, the best available science is required to inform policymakers on the importance of and the adaptation needs in a +1.5°C warmer world. Seven research institutes from Europe and Turkey integrated their competencies to provide a cross-sectoral assessment of the potential impacts at a pan-European scale. The initial findings of this initiative are presented and key messages communicated. The approach is to select periods based on global warming thresholds rather than the more typical approach of selecting time periods (e.g., end of century). The results indicate that the world is likely to pass the +1.5°C threshold in the coming decades. Cross-sectoral dimensions are taken into account to show the impacts of global warming that occur in parallel in more than one sector. Also, impacts differ across sectors and regions. Alongside the negative impacts for certain sectors and regions, some positive impacts are projected. Summer tourism in parts of Western Europe may be favored by climate change; electricity demand decreases outweigh increases over most of Europe and catchment yields in hydropower regions will increase. However, such positive findings should be interpreted carefully as we do not take into account exogenous factors that can and will influence Europe such as migration patterns, food production, and economic and political instability.
Assessing the impacts of 1.5°C global warming - Simulation protocol of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP2b)
Frieler, Katja ; Lange, Stefan ; Piontek, Franziska ; Reyer, Christopher P.O. ; Schewe, Jacob ; Warszawski, Lila ; Zhao, Fang ; Chini, Louise ; Denvil, Sebastien ; Emanuel, Kerry ; Geiger, Tobias ; Halladay, Kate ; Hurtt, George ; Mengel, Matthias ; Murakami, Daisgbre ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Popp, Alexander ; Riva, Riccardo ; Stevanovic, Miodrag ; SuzGBRi, Tatsuo ; Volkholz, Jan ; Burke, Eleanor ; Ciais, Philippe ; Ebi, Kristie ; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Elliott, Joshua ; Galbraith, Eric ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Hattermann, Fred ; Hickler, Thomas ; Hinkel, Jochen ; Hof, Christian ; Huber, Veronika ; Jägermeyr, Jonas ; Krysanova, Valentina ; Marcé, Rafael ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Mouratiadou, Ioanna ; Pierson, Don ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Vautard, Robert ; Vliet, Michelle Van; Biber, Matthias F. ; Betts, Richard A. ; Leon Bodirsky, Benjamin ; Deryng, Delphine ; Frolking, Steve ; Jones, Chris D. ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Lotze-Campen, Hermann ; Sahajpal, Ritvik ; Thonicke, Kirsten ; Tian, Hanqin ; Yamagata, Yoshiki - \ 2017
Geoscientific Model Development 10 (2017)12. - ISSN 1991-959X - p. 4321 - 4345.
In Paris, France, December 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ĝ€°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. In Nairobi, Kenya, April 2016, the IPCC panel accepted the invitation. Here we describe the response devised within the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) to provide tailored, cross-sectorally consistent impact projections to broaden the scientific basis for the report. The simulation protocol is designed to allow for (1) separation of the impacts of historical warming starting from pre-industrial conditions from impacts of other drivers such as historical land-use changes (based on pre-industrial and historical impact model simulations); (2) quantification of the impacts of additional warming up to 1.5ĝ€°C, including a potential overshoot and long-term impacts up to 2299, and comparison to higher levels of global mean temperature change (based on the low-emissions Representative Concentration Pathway RCP2.6 and a no-mitigation pathway RCP6.0) with socio-economic conditions fixed at 2005 levels; and (3) assessment of the climate effects based on the same climate scenarios while accounting for simultaneous changes in socio-economic conditions following the middle-of-the-road Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP2, Fricko et al., 2016) and in particular differential bioenergy requirements associated with the transformation of the energy system to comply with RCP2.6 compared to RCP6.0. With the aim of providing the scientific basis for an aggregation of impacts across sectors and analysis of cross-sectoral interactions that may dampen or amplify sectoral impacts, the protocol is designed to facilitate consistent impact projections from a range of impact models across different sectors (global and regional hydrology, lakes, global crops, global vegetation, regional forests, global and regional marine ecosystems and fisheries, global and regional coastal infrastructure, energy supply and demand, temperature-related mortality, and global terrestrial biodiversity).
Observational evidence for cloud cover enhancement over western European forests
Teuling, A.J. ; Taylor, C. ; Meirink, J.F. ; Melsen, L.A. ; Miralles, D.G. ; Heerwaarden, C.C. van; Vautard, R. ; Stegehuis, A.I. ; Nabuurs, G.J. ; Vilà-Guerau De Arellano, J. - \ 2017
Nature Communications 8 (2017). - ISSN 2041-1723 - 7 p.
Forests impact regional hydrology and climate directly by regulating water and heat fluxes. Indirect effects through cloud formation and precipitation can be important in facilitating continental-scale moisture recycling but are poorly understood at regional scales. In particular, the impact of temperate forest on clouds is largely unknown. Here we provide observational evidence for a strong increase in cloud cover over large forest regions in western Europe based on analysis of 10 years of 15 min resolution data from geostationary satellites. In addition, we show that widespread windthrow by cyclone Klaus in the Landes forest led to a significant decrease in local cloud cover in subsequent years. Strong cloud development along the downwind edges of larger forest areas are consistent with a forest-breeze mesoscale circulation. Our results highlight the need to include impacts on cloud formation when evaluating the water and climate services of temperate forests, in particular around densely populated areas.
An observation-constrained multi-physics WRF ensemble for simulating European mega heat waves
Stegehuis, A.I. ; Vautard, R. ; Ciais, P. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Miralles, D.G. ; Wild, M. - \ 2015
Geoscientific Model Development 8 (2015)7. - ISSN 1991-959X - p. 2285 - 2298.

Many climate models have difficulties in properly reproducing climate extremes, such as heat wave conditions. Here we use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model with a large combination of different atmospheric physics schemes, in combination with the NOAH land-surface scheme, with the goal of detecting the most sensitive physics and identifying those that appear most suitable for simulating the heat wave events of 2003 in western Europe and 2010 in Russia. In total, 55 out of 216 simulations combining different atmospheric physical schemes have a temperature bias smaller than 1 °C during the heat wave episodes, the majority of simulations showing a cold bias of on average 2-3 °C. Conversely, precipitation is mostly overestimated prior to heat waves, and shortwave radiation is slightly overestimated. Convection is found to be the most sensitive atmospheric physical process impacting simulated heat wave temperature across four different convection schemes in the simulation ensemble. Based on these comparisons, we design a reduced ensemble of five well performing and diverse scheme configurations, which may be used in the future to perform heat wave analysis and to investigate the impact of climate change during summer in Europe.

Maps showing the climate change impacts, at 1.5 and 2°C For the Water, Energy, and Tourism each sector and for coastal impacts. Deliverable report for EU FP7 project Impact2C
Ludwig, F. ; Greuell, J.W. ; Vliet, M.T.H. van; Roudier, P. ; Grillakis, M. ; Tobin, I. ; Vautard, R. ; Landgren, O. ; Brown, S. ; Lincke, D. - \ 2015
EU FP7 project
Constraining climate analysis and climate change projections over Europe using land heat flux observations
Stegehuis, A.I. ; Vautard, R. ; Ciais, P. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Jung, M. ; Yiou, P. - \ 2013
Geophysical Research Abstracts 15 (2013)EGU2013-493. - ISSN 1029-7006
An 'H-index' for summer heat waves
Teuling, A.J. ; Vautard, R. - \ 2013
Geophysical Research Abstracts 15 (2013)EGU2013-6282. - ISSN 1029-7006
Beyond vulnerability assessment
Swart, R.J. ; Fuss, S. ; Obersteiner, M. ; Ruti, P. ; Teichmann, C. ; Vautard, R. - \ 2013
Nature Climate Change 3 (2013). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 942 - 943.
Future European Temperature change uncertainties reduced by using land heat flux observations
Stegehuis, A.I. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Ciais, P. ; Vautard, R. ; Jung, M. - \ 2013
Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013)10. - ISSN 0094-8276 - p. 2242 - 2245.
climate-change - model
The variability of European summer climate is expected to increase in the next century due to increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, likely resulting in more frequent and more extreme droughts and heatwaves. However, climate models diverge on the magnitude of these processes, due to land-surface coupling processes which are difficult to simulate, and poorly constrained by observations. Here we use gridded observation-based sensible heat fluxes to constrain climate change predictions from an ensemble of 15 regional climate models. Land heat flux observations suggest that temperature projections may be underestimated by up to 1¿K regionally in Central to Northern Europe, while slightly overestimated over the Mediterranean and Balkan regions. The use of observation-based heat flux data allows significant reductions in uncertainty as expressed by the model ensemble spread of temperature for the 2071–2100 period. Maximal reduction is obtained over France and the Balkan with values locally reaching 40%.
Summer temperatures in Europe and land heat fluxes in observation-based data and regional climate simulations
Stegehuis, A.I. ; Vautard, R. ; Ciais, Ph. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Jung, P. - \ 2013
Climate Dynamics 41 (2013)2. - ISSN 0930-7575 - p. 455 - 477.
weather regimes - soil-moisture - variability - ensemble - precipitation - performance - heatwaves - surface - projections - reanalysis
The occurrence and intensity of heatwaves is expected to increase with climate change. Early warnings of hot summers have therefore a great socio-economical value. Previous studies have shown that hot summers are preceded by a Southern European rainfall deficit during winter, and higher spring temperatures. Changes in the surface energy budget are believed to drive this evolution, in particular changes in the latent and sensible heat fluxes. However these have rarely been investigated due to the lack of long-term reliable observation data. In this study, we analyzed several data-derived gridded products of latent and sensible heat fluxes, based on flux tower observations, together with re-analyses and regional climate model simulations over Europe. We find that warm summers are preceded by an increase in latent heat flux in early spring. During warm summers, an increase in available energy results in an excess of both latent and sensible heat fluxes over most of Europe, but a latent heat flux decrease over the Iberian Peninsula. This indicates that, on average, a summertime soil-moisture limited evapotranspiration regime only prevails in the Iberian Peninsula. In general, the models that we analyzed overestimate latent heat and underestimate sensible heat as compared to the flux tower derived data-product. Most models show considerable drying during warm seasons, leading to the establishment of a soil-moisture limited regime across Europe in summer. This over-estimation by the current generation of models of latent heat and hence of soil moisture deficit over Europe in summer has potential consequences for future summertime climate projections and the projected frequency of heat waves. We also show that a northward propagation of drought during warm summers is found in model results, a phenomenon which is also seen in the flux tower data-product. Our results lead to a better understanding of the role of latent and sensible heat flux in summer heatwaves, and provide a framework for benchmark of modeling studies.
Skill and uncertainty of a regional air quality model ensemble
Vautard, R. ; Schaap, M. ; Bergström, R. ; Bessagnet, B. ; Brandt, J. ; Builtjes, P.J.H. ; Krol, M.C. - \ 2009
Atmospheric Environment 43 (2009)31. - ISSN 1352-2310 - p. 4822 - 4832.
2003 heat-wave - climate-change - pollution model - western-europe - surface ozone - aerosol - simulations - summer - validation - transport
Recently several regional air quality projects were carried out to support the negotiation under the Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) programme by predicting the impact of emission control policies with an ensemble of models. Within these projects, CITYDELTA and EURODELTA, the fate of air quality at the scale of European cities or that of the European continent was studied using several models. In this article we focus on the results of EURODELTA. The predictive skill of the ensemble of models is described for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and secondary inorganic compounds, and the uncertainty in air quality modelling is examined through the model ensemble spread of concentrations. For ozone daily maxima the ensemble spread origin differs from one region to another. In the neighbourhood of cities or in mountainous areas the spread of predicted values does not span the range of observed data, due to poorly resolved emissions or complex-terrain meteorology. By contrast in Atlantic and North Sea coastal areas the spread of predicted values is found to be larger than the observations. This is attributed to large differences in the boundary conditions used in the different models. For NO2 daily averages the ensemble spread is generally too small compared with observations. This is because models miss highest values occurring in stagnant meteorology in stable boundary layers near cities. For secondary particulate matter compounds the simulated concentration spread is more balanced, observations falling nearly equiprobably within the ensemble, and the spread originates both from meteorology and aerosol chemistry and thermodynamics
Evaluation of long-term ozone simulations from seven regional air quality models and their ensemble
Loon, M. van; Vautard, R. ; Schaap, M. ; Bergström, R. ; Bessagnet, B. ; Brandt, J. ; Krol, M.C. - \ 2007
Atmospheric Environment 41 (2007)10. - ISSN 1352-2310 - p. 2083 - 2097.
tropospheric ozone - pollution model - european cities - western-europe - impact - variability - citydelta - summer
Long-term ozone simulations from seven regional air quality models, the Unified EMEP model, LOTOS-EUROS, CHIMERE, RCG, MATCH, DEHM and TM5, are intercompared and compared to ozone measurements within the framework of the EuroDelta experiment, designed to assess air quality improvement at the European scale in response to emission reduction scenarios for 2020. Modelled ozone concentrations for the year 2001 are evaluated. The models reproduce the main features of the ozone diurnal cycle, but generally overestimate daytime ozone. LOTOS-EUROS and RCG have a more pronounced diurnal cycle variation than observations, while the reverse occurs for TM5. CHIMERE has a large positive bias, which can be explained by a systematic bias in boundary conditions. The other models and the ¿ensemble model¿, whose concentrations are by definition averaged over all models, represent accurately the diurnal cycle. The ability of the models to simulate day-to-day daily ozone average or maxima variability is examined by means of percentiles, root mean square errors and correlations. In general, daily maxima are better simulated than daily averages, and summertime concentrations are better simulated than wintertime concentrations. Summertime correlations range between 0.5 and 0.7 for daily averages and 0.6 and 0.8 for daily maxima. Two health-related indicators are used, the number of days of exceedance of the threshold for the daily maximal 8-h ozone concentration and the SOMO35. Both are well reproduced in terms of frequency, but the simultaneity of occurrence of exceedance days between observations and simulations is not well captured. The advantage of using an ensemble of models instead of a single model for the assessment of air quality is demonstrated. The ensemble average concentrations almost always exhibit a closer proximity to observations than any of the models. We also show that the spread of the model ensemble is fairly representative of the uncertainty in the simulations.
Is regional air quality model diversity representative of uncertainty for ozone simulation?
Vautard, R. ; Loon, M. van; Schaap, M. ; Bergstrom, R. ; Bessagnet, B. ; Brandt, J. ; Builtjes, P.J.H. ; Christensen, J.H. ; Cuvelier, C. ; Graff, A. ; Jonson, J.E. ; Krol, M.C. ; Langner, J. ; Roberts, P. ; Rouil, L. ; Stern, R. ; Tarrason, L. ; Thunis, P. ; Vignati, E. ; White, L. ; Wind, P. - \ 2006
Geophysical Research Letters 33 (2006). - ISSN 0094-8276 - 5 p.
pollution model - western-europe - ensemble
We examine whether seven state-of-the-art European regional air quality models provide daily ensembles of predicted ozone maxima that encompass observations. Using tools borrowed from the evaluation of ensemble weather forecasting, we analyze statistics of simulated ensembles of ozone daily maxima over an entire summer season. Although the model ensemble overestimates ozone, the distribution of simulated concentrations is representative of the uncertainty. The spread of simulations is due to random fluctuations resulting from differences in model formulations and input data, but also to the spread between individual model systematic biases. The ensemble average skill increases as the spread decreases. The skill of the ensemble in giving probabilistic predictions of threshold exceedances is also demonstrated. These results allow for optimism about the ability of this ensemble to simulate the uncertainty of the impact of emission control scenarios.
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