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Extreme winds over Europe in the ENSEMBLES regional climate models

by S. D. Outten, I. Esau
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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Extreme winds cause vast amounts of damage ev- ery year and represent a major concern for numerous indus- tries including construction, afforestation, wind energy and many others. Under a changing climate, the intensity and fre- quency of extreme events are expected to change, and accu- rate projections of these changes will be invaluable to deci- sion makers and society as a whole. Thiswork examines four regional climate model downscalings over Europe follow- ing the SRES A1B scenario from the “ENSEMBLE-based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts” project (ENSEMBLES). It investigates the projected changes in the 50 yr return wind speeds and the associated uncertainties. This is accomplished by employing the peaks-over-threshold method with the use of the generalised Pareto distribution. The models show that, for much of Europe, the 50 yr re- turn wind is projected to change by less than 2ms−1, while the uncertainties associated with the statistical estimates are larger than this. In keeping with previous works in this field, the largest source of uncertainty is found to be the inter- model spread, with some locations showing differences in the 50 yr return wind of over 20ms−1 between two different downscalings.

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