Regionalization of Climate Change Simulations over the Eastern Mediterranean

Oenol B., Semazzi F. H. M.

JOURNAL OF CLIMATE, vol.22, no.8, pp.1944-1961, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1175/2008jcli1807.1
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF CLIMATE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1944-1961
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


In this study, the potential role of global warming in modulating the future climate over the eastern Mediterranean ( EM) region has been investigated. The primary vehicle of this investigation is the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics Regional Climate Model version 3 (ICTP-RegCM3), which was used to downscale the present and future climate scenario simulations generated by the NASA's finite-volume GCM (fvGCM). The present-day (1961-90; RF) simulations and the future climate change projections (2071-2100; A2) are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. During the Northern Hemispheric winter season, the general increase in precipitation over the northern sector of the EM region is present both in the fvGCM and RegCM3 model simulations. The regional model simulations reveal a significant increase (10%-50%) in winter precipitation over the Carpathian Mountains and along the east coast of the Black Sea, over the Kackar Mountains, and over the Caucasus Mountains. The large decrease in precipitation over the southeastern Turkey region that recharges the Euphrates and Tigris River basins could become a major source of concern for the countries downstream of this region. The model results also indicate that the autumn rains, which are primarily confined over Turkey for the current climate, will expand into Syria and Iraq in the future, which is consistent with the corresponding changes in the circulation pattern. The climate change over EM tends to manifest itself in terms of the modulation of North Atlantic Oscillation. During summer, temperature increase is as large as 7 degrees C over the Balkan countries while changes for the rest of the region are in the range of 3 degrees-4 degrees C. Overall the temperature increase in summer is much greater than the corresponding changes during winter. Presentation of the climate change projections in terms of individual country averages is highly advantageous for the practical interpretation of the results. The consistence of the country averages for the RF RegCM3 projections with the corresponding averaged station data is compelling evidence of the added value of regional climate model downscaling.