The climate of the future: regional scenarios in the Middle East and the North Africa

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Significant advances in the application of regional climate models. A study led by the CMCC Foundation awarded by the Journal “Advances in Climate Change Research”.

CMCC researchers Edoardo Bucchignani and Paola Mercogliano are among the authors of the winning paper of the “Great Contribution Award 2020”, awarded by the Journal Advances in Climate Change Research. The work, which attracted wide attention and received high citation, is entitled “Climate change projections for the Middle East–North Africa domain with COSMO-CLM at different spatial resolutions” and was published in Volume 9, Issue 1, 2018 of the Journal.

The study was led by the CMCC Foundation and investigated projected changes in the future climate conditions for the Middle East–North Africa domain over the 21st century through regional climate projections for this area. The publication describes two simulations conducted with the COSMO-CLM (Climate Limited-area Modelling Community) model, respectively at a spatial resolution of 0.44° (about 50 km) and 0.22° (about 25 km), over the period 1979–2100 and employing the IPCC RCP4.5 scenario. Results have been analysed in terms of temperature at 2 meters above ground and precipitation, considering both average values and specific indices for the evaluation of extreme events.

“This study is the result of an effective teamwork at CMCC: the global model CMCC-CM (Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici Climate Model) provided initial and boundary conditions, or rather the prerequisites to perform the projections with the regional model” explains Edoardo Bucchignani, lead author of the paper. “Climate projections show significant warming expected over the whole area considered at the end of the 21st century, especially in summer. Precipitation projections indicate a reduction, especially in winter. However, results related to precipitation depend on the horizontal resolution, suggesting the need for additional simulations at higher resolution, especially for a proper representation of extreme weather events.”

“We believe that this work has particular importance in the scientific context, as this area is still little studied, at least if compared to the European area, in terms of expected climatic scenarios. Our simulations contributed to overcoming this knowledge gap” adds Paola Mercogliano, head of the REMHI (Regional Models and geo-Hydrological Impacts) research division at the CMCC Foundation, which carried out the simulations analysed in the study.

For more information:
Bucchignani, E., Mercogliano, P., Panitz, H.J., Montesarchio, M., (2018), Climate change projections for the Middle East North Africa domain with COSMO-CLM at different spatial resolutions. Advances in Climate Change, 9, 66-80. doi: 10.1016/j.accre.2018.01.004.


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