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  • Jylhä, K., Tuomenvirta, H., Ruosteenoja, K., Niemi-Hugaerts, H., Keisu, K. and J.A. Karhu, 2010: Observed and projected future shifts of climatic zones in Europe, and their use to visualize climate change information. Weather, Climate, and Society, 2, 148-167, doi:10.1175/2010WCAS1010.1.

A Web site questionnaire survey in Finland suggested that maps illustrating projected shifts of Köppen climatic zones are an effective visualization tool for disseminating climate change information. The climate classification is based on seasonal cycles of monthly-mean temperature and precipitation, and it divides Europe and its adjacent land areas into tundra, boreal, temperate, and dry climate types. Projections of future changes in the climatic zones were composed using multimodel mean projections based on simulations performed with 19 global climate models. The projections imply that, depending on the greenhouse gas scenarios, about half or possibly even two-thirds of the study domain will be affected by shifts toward a warmer or drier climate type during this century. The projected changes within the next few decades are chiefly located near regions where shifts in the borders of the zones have already occurred during the period 1950–2006. The questionnaire survey indicated that the information regarding the shifting climatic zones as disseminated by the maps was generally interpreted correctly, with the average percentage of correct answers being 86%. Additional examples of the use of the climatic zones to communicate climate change information to the public are included.

Full Article: http://http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010WCAS1010.1

Last Updated: 2010-06-10

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