Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
01 Apr 2011
 | 01 Apr 2011

The future climate characteristics of the Carpathian Basin based on a regional climate model mini-ensemble

I. Krüzselyi, J. Bartholy, A. Horányi, I. Pieczka, R. Pongrácz, P. Szabó, G. Szépszó, and Cs. Torma

Abstract. Four regional climate models (RCMs) were adapted in Hungary for the dynamical downscaling of the global climate projections over the Carpathian Basin: (i) the ALADIN-Climate model developed by Météo France on the basis of the ALADIN short-range modelling system; (ii) the PRECIS model available from the UK Met Office Hadley Centre; (iii) the RegCM model originally developed at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, is maintained at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste; and (iv) the REMO model developed by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. The RCMs are different in terms of dynamical model formulation, physical parameterisations; moreover, in the completed simulations they use different spatial resolutions, integration domains and lateral boundary conditions for the scenario experiments. Therefore, the results of the four RCMs can be considered as a small ensemble providing information about various kinds of uncertainties in the future projections over the target area, i.e., Hungary. After the validation of the temperature and precipitation patterns against measurements, mean changes and some extreme characteristics of these patterns (including their statistical significance) have been assessed focusing on the periods of 2021–2050 and 2071–2100 relative to the 1961–1990 model reference period. The ensemble evaluation indicates that the temperature-related changes of the different RCMs are in good agreement over the Carpathian Basin and these tendencies manifest in the general warming conditions. The precipitation changes cannot be identified so clearly: seasonally large differences can be recognised among the projections and between the two periods. An overview is given about the results of the mini-ensemble and special emphasis is put on estimating the uncertainties in the simulations for Hungary.