Assessment of the European climate projections as simulated by the large EURO-CORDEX regional and global climate model ensemble
AbstractThis paper analyzes the ensemble of regional climate model (RCM) projections for Europe completed within the EURO‐CORDEX project. Projections are available for the two greenhouse gas concentration scenarios RCP2.6 (22 members) and RCP8.5 (55 members) at 0.11 degree resolution from 11 RCMs driven by 8 global climate models (GCMs). The RCM ensemble results are compared with the driving CMIP5 global models but also with a subset of available last generation CMIP6 projections. Maximum warming is projected by all ensembles in Northern Europe in winter, along with a maximum precipitation increase there; in summer, maximum warming occurs in the Mediterranean and Southern European regions associated with a maximum precipitation decrease. The CMIP6 ensemble shows the largest signals, both for temperature and precipitation, along with the largest inter‐model spread. There is a high model consensus across the ensembles on an increase of extreme precipitation and drought frequency in the Mediterranean region. Extreme temperature indices show an increase of heat extremes and a decrease of cold extremes, with CMIP6 showing the highest values and EURO‐CORDEX the finest spatial details. This dataset of unprecedented size and quality will provide the basis for impact assessment and climate service activities for the European region.