Regional climate change in the mediterranean

Regional climate change in the mediterranean. (Development of novel approaches to statistical downscaling considering non-stationarities in the predictors-predictand relationships)

Within the scope of projecting future climate change, General Circulation Models (GCMs) are commonly used to assess changes resulting from further increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Dynamical and statistical downscaling techniques are developed to infer regional to local information below the skilful scale of the GCMs.

Statistical downscaling approaches are based on statistical relationships linking a set of large-scale atmospheric variables (predictors) to regional climate variables (predictands) during an observational period. In this regard validation of the statistical models is of utmost importance: the established statistical relationships are verified during a period independent from the calibration period and are subsequently used to predict the future response of regional climate to climate model changes of the large-scale variables. Despite the extensive efforts to measure and evaluate performance of statistical downscaling models, little attention has been paid so far to the handling of non-stationarities in the predictors-predictand relationships.

The present project aims to introduce a novel downscaling approach which explicitly takes non-stationarities into account. For the illustration of this approach the Mediterranean area is chosen, because it shows a wide range of different climatic characteristics, from humid conditions in the western, northern and eastern Mediterranean regions in winter to arid conditions in the southern and eastern Mediterranean regions in summer.

This research project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.