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Western Europe is warming much faster than expected

Western Europe is warming much faster than expected
Western Europe is warming much faster than expected
The warming trend of the last decades is now so strong that it is discernible in local temperature observations. This opens the possibility to compare the trend to the warming predicted by comprehensive climate models (GCMs), which up to now could not be verified directly to observations on a local scale, because the signal-to-noise ratio was too low. The observed temperature trend in western Europe over the last decades appears much stronger than simulated by state-of-the-art GCMs. The difference is very unlikely due to random fluctuations, either in fast weather processes or in decadal climate fluctuations. In winter and spring, changes in atmospheric circulation are important; in spring and summer changes in soil moisture and cloud cover. A misrepresentation of the North Atlantic Current affects trends along the coast. Many of these processes ontinue to affect trends in projections for the 21st century. This implies that climate predictions for western Europe probably underestimate the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

1814-9332
1-12
van Oldenborgh, G.J.
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Drijfhout, S.
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van Ulden, A.
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Haarsma, R.
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Sterl, A.
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Severijns, C.
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Hazeleger, W.
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Dijkstra, H.
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van Oldenborgh, G.J.
bfed2684-7bc6-4711-b0a1-6953fd1090cb
Drijfhout, S.
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
van Ulden, A.
ab1ddb8e-a016-4b65-8928-8db49a0de750
Haarsma, R.
90cfc3b3-7495-4943-8803-e397825d1c80
Sterl, A.
edc19096-737b-44f2-8d49-95203d6b9b17
Severijns, C.
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Hazeleger, W.
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Dijkstra, H.
72bf35e3-4488-462e-bc25-190f19f797da

van Oldenborgh, G.J., Drijfhout, S., van Ulden, A., Haarsma, R., Sterl, A., Severijns, C., Hazeleger, W. and Dijkstra, H. (2009) Western Europe is warming much faster than expected. Climate of the Past, 5 (1), 1-12. (doi:10.5194/cp-5-1-2009).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The warming trend of the last decades is now so strong that it is discernible in local temperature observations. This opens the possibility to compare the trend to the warming predicted by comprehensive climate models (GCMs), which up to now could not be verified directly to observations on a local scale, because the signal-to-noise ratio was too low. The observed temperature trend in western Europe over the last decades appears much stronger than simulated by state-of-the-art GCMs. The difference is very unlikely due to random fluctuations, either in fast weather processes or in decadal climate fluctuations. In winter and spring, changes in atmospheric circulation are important; in spring and summer changes in soil moisture and cloud cover. A misrepresentation of the North Atlantic Current affects trends along the coast. Many of these processes ontinue to affect trends in projections for the 21st century. This implies that climate predictions for western Europe probably underestimate the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

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Published date: 2009
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 340334
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/340334
ISSN: 1814-9332
PURE UUID: 3b6e6057-bc23-4387-a32e-9ea056ac968d

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Date deposited: 18 Jun 2012 16:03
Last modified: 26 Apr 2022 19:19

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Contributors

Author: G.J. van Oldenborgh
Author: S. Drijfhout
Author: A. van Ulden
Author: R. Haarsma
Author: A. Sterl
Author: C. Severijns
Author: W. Hazeleger
Author: H. Dijkstra

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