Distinct influences of large-scale circulation and regional feedbacks in two exceptional 2019 European heatwaves



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Sousa, Pedro M. and Barriopedro Cepero, David and García Herrera, Ricardo and Ordoñez García, Carlos and Soares, M.M. and Trigo, Ricardo M. (2020) Distinct influences of large-scale circulation and regional feedbacks in two exceptional 2019 European heatwaves. Communications Earth & Environment, 1 (1). ISSN 2662-4435

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43247-020-00048-9


Two separate heatwaves affected western Europe in June and July 2019, in particular France, Belgium, the Netherlands, western Germany and northeastern Spain. Here we compare the European 2019 summer temperatures to multi-proxy reconstructions of temperatures since 1500, and analyze the relative influence of synoptic conditions and soil-atmosphere feedbacks on both heatwave events. We find that a subtropical ridge was a common synoptic setup to both heatwaves. However, whereas the June heatwave was mostly associated with warm advection of a Saharan air mass intrusion, land surface processes were relevant for the magnitude of the July heatwave. Enhanced radiative fluxes and precipitation reduction during early July added to the soil moisture deficit that had been initiated by the June heatwave. We show this deficit was larger than it would have been in the past decades, pointing to climate change imprint. We conclude that land-atmosphere feedbacks as well as remote influences through northward propagation of dryness contributed to the exceptional intensity of the July heatwave.

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©The Authors 2020. The authors acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from http://www.uerra.eu (EU-FP6), the Copernicus Climate Change Service (https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu), the data providers in ECA&D (https://www.ecad.eu), the NCEP Reanalysis and GISTEPM data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSL (Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their web site at https://psl.noaa.gov/), and the climate reconstructions provided by the World Data Centre for Paleoclimatology (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov). This work was partially supported by national funds through FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal): P.M.S. thanks project HOLMODRIVE—North Atlantic Atmospheric Patterns influence on Western Iberia Climate: From the Lateglacial to the Present (PTDC/CTA-GEO/29029/2017) and R.M.T. acknowledges project FireCast (PCIF/GRF/0204/2017). This work was also partially funded by project INDECIS, which is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, with co-funding by the European Union (Grant 690462). C.O. acknowledges funding from the Ramón y Cajal Programme of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under grant RYC-2014-15036. We also acknowledge support from STEADY (CGL2017-83198-R), project funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, and JEDIS (RTI2018-096402-B-I00), project funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. P.M.M.S. wishes to acknowledge the LEADING project (PTDC/CTA-MET/28914/2017). The IDL authors (P.M.S, R.M.T and P.M.M.S) would like to acknowledge the financial support FCT through project UIDB/50019/2020—Instituto Dom Luiz.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Heat-wave; Atmospheric circulation; Temperature variability; Future climate; Air-pollution; Mega-heatwave; Summer; Extremes; Impacts; Drought
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Atmospheric physics
ID Code:67971
Deposited On:28 Sep 2021 08:14
Last Modified:28 Sep 2021 09:57

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