in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences > Vol. 369. N° 1934 (2011) . - p. 85-98
Climate models vary widely in their projections of both global mean temperature rise and regional climate changes, but are there any systematic differences in regional changes associated with different levels of global climate sensitivity? This paper examines model projections of climate change over the twenty-first century from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report which used the A2 scenario from the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, assessing whether different regional responses can be seen in models categorized as ‘high-end’ (those projecting 4°C or more by the end of the twenty-first century relative to the preindustrial). It also identifies regions where the largest climate changes are projected under high-end warming. The mean spatial patterns of change, normalized against the global rate of warming, are generally similar in high-end and ‘non-high-end’ simulations. The exception is the higher latitudes, where land areas warm relatively faster in boreal summer in high-end models, but sea ice areas show varying differences in boreal winter. Many continental interiors warm approximately twice as fast as the global average, with this being particularly accentuated in boreal summer, and the winter-time Arctic Ocean temperatures rise more than three times faster than the global average. Large temperature increases and precipitation decreases are projected in some of the regions that currently experience water resource pressures, including Mediterranean fringe regions, indicating enhanced pressure on water resources in these areas.
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