For the construction of regional climate change scenarios spanning a relevant fraction of the spread in climate model projections, an inventory of major drivers of regional climate change is needed. For the Netherlands, a previous set of regional climate change scenarios was based on the decomposition of local temperature/precipitation changes into components directly linked to the level of global warming, and components related to changes in the regional atmospheric circulation. In this study this decomposition is revisited utilizing the extensive modelling results from the CMIP5 model ensemble in support for the 5th IPCC assessment. Rather than selecting a number of GCMs based on performance metrics or relevant response features, a regression technique was developed to utilize all available model projections. The large number of projections allows a quantification of the separate contributions of emission scenarios, systematic model responses and natural variability to the total likelihood range. Natural variability plays a minor role in modelled differences in the global mean temperature response, but contributes for up to 50% to the range of mean sea level pressure responses and local precipitation. Using key indicators (“steering variables”) for the temperature and circulation response, the range in local seasonal mean temperature and precipitation responses can be fairly well reproduced.
BJJM van den Hurk, GJ van Oldenborgh, G Lenderink, W Hazeleger, RJ Haarsma, H de Vries. Drivers of mean climate change around the Netherlands derived from CMIP5
published, Clim. Dyn., 2014