Temperature and precipitation projections for the Antarctic Peninsula over the next two decades: contrasting global and regional climate model simulations

Bozkurt, Deniz; Bromwich, David H.; Carrasco, Jorge; Rondanelli, Roberto


This study presents near future (2020-2044) temperature and precipitation changes over the Antarctic Peninsula under the high-emission scenario (RCP8.5). We make use of historical and projected simulations from 19 global climate models (GCMs) participating in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We compare and contrast GCMs projections with two groups of regional climate model simulations (RCMs): (1) high resolution (15-km) simulations performed with Polar-WRF model forced with bias-corrected NCAR-CESM1 (NC-CORR) over the Antarctic Peninsula, (2) medium resolution (50-km) simulations of KNMI-RACMO21P forced with EC-EARTH (EC) obtained from the CORDEX-Antarctica. A further comparison of historical simulations (1981-2005) with respect to ERA5 reanalysis is also included for circulation patterns and near-surface temperature climatology. In general, both RCM boundary conditions represent well the main circulation patterns of the historical period. Nonetheless, there are important differences in projections such as a notable deepening and weakening of the Amundsen Sea Low in EC and NC-CORR, respectively. Mean annual near-surface temperatures are projected to increase by about 0.5-1.5 degrees C across the entire peninsula. Temperature increase is more substantial in autumn and winter (similar to 2 degrees C). Following opposite circulation pattern changes, both EC and NC-CORR exhibit different warming rates, indicating a possible continuation of natural decadal variability. Although generally showing similar temperature changes, RCM projections show less warming and a smaller increase in melt days in the Larsen Ice Shelf compared to their respective driving fields. Regarding precipitation, there is a broad agreement among the simulations, indicating an increase in mean annual precipitation (similar to 5 to 10%). However, RCMs show some notable differences over the Larsen Ice Shelf where total precipitation decreases (for RACMO) and shows a small increase in rain frequency. We conclude that it seems still difficult to get consistent projections from GCMs for the Antarctic Peninsula as depicted in both RCM boundary conditions. In addition, dominant and common changes from the boundary conditions are largely evident in the RCM simulations. We argue that added value of RCM projections is driven by processes shaped by finer local details and different physics schemes that are introduced by RCMs, particularly over the Larsen Ice Shelf.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000616059400004 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: CLIMATE DYNAMICS
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2021


Notas: ISI