The inter-annual variability in monthly mean summer temperatures derived from nine different regional climate model (RCM) integrations is investigated for both the control climate (1961-1990) and a future climate (2071-2100) based on A2 emissions. All regional model integrations, carried out in the PRUDENCE project, use the same boundaries of the HadAM3H global atmospheric model. Compared to the CRU TS 2.0 observational data set most RCMs (but not all) overpredict the temperature variability significantly in their control simulation. The behaviour of the different regional climate models is analysed in terms of the surface energy budget, and the contributions of the different terms in the surface energy budget to the temperature variability are estimated. This analysis shows a clear relation in the model ensemble between temperature variability and the combined effects of downward long wave, net short wave radiation and evaporation (defined as F). However, it appears that the overestimation of the temperature variability has no unique cause. The effect of short-wave radiation dominates in some RCMs, whereas in others the effect of evaporation dominates. In all models the temperature variability increases when imposing future climate boundary conditions, with particularly high values in central Europe. The surface energy budget analysis again shows a clear relation between changes in F and the change in temperature variability.
An abridged version of this work will be published in a special issue on the PRUDENCE project in Climatic Change
G Lenderink, A van Ulden, B van den Hurk, E van Meijgaard. Summertime inter-annual temperature variability in an ensemble of regional model simulations: analysis of the surface energy budget