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  • Scherrer, S. C., M. A. Liniger, and C. Appenzeller, 2007: Distribution changes of seasonal mean temperature in observations and climate change scenarios. In: Climate variability and extremes during the past 100 years. S. Brönnimann, J. Luterbacher, H. Diaz, R. Stolarski, T. Ewen, U. Neu, Eds., Springer. Accepted.

Distribution changes in seasonal mean 2m temperature are investigated in Central Europe and the extratropical northern Hemisphere for the most recent period 1961-2005 and the 21st century. Data from both observations and climate model runs are used. The latter are taken from scenarios prepared for the fourth IPCC assessment report (AR4). All data sets and model runs are scaled by their corresponding interannual variability to facilitate the comparison between the datasets. Time series are detrended to investigate changes in internal variability. For the last 45 years (1961-2005) the strongest changes in mean are found for in the summer mean temperature, both in observations and AR4 runs. With the exception of autumn, changes in the mean are captured reasonably well by the models on the regional as well as hemispheric scale. For Central Europe, estimates for variability changes show a weak increase (decrease) in summer (winter) observations. Both are not statistically significant at the 10% level. For the 21st century all climate scenario runs suggest large relative increases in mean temperature for all seasons. The AR4 model-to-model differences in the mean changes are largest in summer and not substantially smaller than those from the third assessment report (TAR). Model uncertainties are in the same order or even larger than the uncertainty introduced by the different scenarios. Compared to TAR, the AR4 runs show a much more consistent tendency for increases in Central Europe summer temperature variability especially towards the end of the 21st century (for 2070-2099: ~22% to 47% increase). No clear changes in seasonal mean temperature variability are found for the other seasons and the averaged Northern Hemisphere land time series.

Last Updated: 2007-01-23

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