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[en] A new high-resolution regional climate change ensemble has been established for Europe within the World Climate Research Program Coordinated Regional Down-scaling Experiment (EURO-CORDEX) initiative. The first set of simulations with a horizontal resolution of 12.5 km was completed for the new emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 with more simulations expected to follow. The aim of this paper is to present this data set to the different communities active in regional climate modelling, impact assessment and adaptation. The EURO-CORDEX ensemble results have been compared to the SRES A1B simulation results achieved within the ENSEMBLES project. The large-scale patterns of changes in mean temperature and precipitation are similar in all three scenarios, but they differ in regional details, which can partly be related to the higher resolution in EURO-CORDEX. The results strengthen those obtained in ENSEMBLES, but need further investigations. The analysis of impact indices shows that for RCP8.5, there is a substantially larger change projected for temperature-based indices than for RCP4.5. The difference is less pronounced for precipitation-based indices. Two effects of the increased resolution can be regarded as an added value of regional climate simulations. Regional climate model simulations provide higher daily precipitation intensities, which are completely missing in the global climate model simulations, and they provide a significantly different climate change of daily precipitation intensities resulting in a smoother shift from weak to moderate and high intensities. (authors)
[en] The Hengduan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau possess unique topographical characteristics that serve as an effective blocking of the movement of the westerly wind in the middle and lower troposphere towards East China. This study examines results from a regional climate model (REMO) at the resolutions of 25 and 50 km for the period 1980–2012. The model is run using lateral boundary conditions from ERA-Interim (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts interim reanalysis). There are only a few differences between 25 and 50 km in land surface/vegetation characteristics, but the major differences in this region are due to the orography. Results show that the high-resolution simulation performance is poor in winter, when southwesterly wind prevails, whereas it performs well in summer, when the westerly wind is substantially weakened in southern China. In comparison to the ERA-Interim wind field, the high-resolution simulation overestimates the air flow over the Hengduan Mountains near the ground surface, which influences the transport of atmospheric water vapor in the downstream region, i.e., over southern China. Specifically, with the help of the overestimated southwesterly wind, the amount of atmospheric water vapor transported increases considerably perennially by up to 20% in southern China, while it decreases remarkably by more than 5% throughout the year in a large area of Central and North China. These features lead to excessive precipitation and underestimated cloud cover in southern China, which probably causes the overestimated 2-m temperature in southern China. Our study emphasizes that, in such high-resolution-model studies for East Asia, special attention should be paid to the near-surface winds over the Hengduan Mountains.