The role of the land-surface model for climate change projections over the Iberian Peninsula



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Jérez, S. and Montávez, J. P. and Gómez Navarro, J. J. and Jiménez, P. A. and Jiménez Guerrero, P. and Lorente, R. and González Rouco, J. Fidel (2012) The role of the land-surface model for climate change projections over the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of geophysical research-atmospheres, 117 . ISSN 2169-897X

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The importance of land-surface processes within Regional Climate Models for accurately reproducing the present-day climate is well known. However, their role when projecting future climate is still poorly reported. Hence, this work assesses the influence of the land-surface processes, particularly the contribution of soil moisture, when projecting future changes for temperature, precipitation and wind over a complex area as the Iberian Peninsula, which, in addition, shows great sensitivity to climate change. The main signals are found for the summer season, when the results indicate a strengthening in the increases projected for both mean temperature and temperature variability as a consequence of the future intensification of the positive soil moisture-temperature feedback. The more severe warming over the inner dry Iberian Peninsula further implies an intensification of the Iberian thermal low and, thus, of the cyclonic circulation. Furthermore, the land-atmosphere coupling leads to the projection of a wider future daily temperature range, since maximum temperatures are more affected than minima, a feature absent in non-coupled simulations. Regarding variability, the areas where the land-atmosphere coupling introduces larger changes are those where the reduction in the soil moisture content is more dramatic in future simulations, i.e., the so-called transitional zones. As regards precipitation, weaker positive signals for convective precipitation and more intense negative signals for non-convective precipitation are obtained as a result of the soil moisture-atmosphere interactions. These results highlight the crucial contribution of soil moisture to climate change projections and suggest its plausible key role for future projections of extreme events.

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Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union. This study received support from the Spanish Ministry of Environment (projects ESCENA, reference 20080050084265, and SALVA-SINOBAS), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (project INVENTO-CGL2005-06966-C07-04/CLI), the Regional Agency for Science and Technology of Murcia (Fundación Séneca, reference 00619/PI/04) and the "Instituto Euromediterráneo del Agua". P. Jiménez Guerrero thanks the Ramón y Cajal Program of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. J. J. Gómez Navarro thanks the Spanish Ministry of Education for his Doctoral scholarship (AP2006-04100). Finally, the authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of anonymous reviewers which helped us to improve the quality and clarity of the manuscript.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Atmosphere coupling experiment; Soil-moisture memory; European summer; Part I; Simulations; Precipitation; Sensitivity; Rainfall; Temperature; Glace
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:36345
Deposited On:14 Mar 2016 15:00
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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