Observed and modelled influence of atmospheric circulation on central England temperature extremes

Blenkinsop, S, Jones, PD ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5032-5493, Dorling, SR and Osborn, TJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8425-6799 (2009) Observed and modelled influence of atmospheric circulation on central England temperature extremes. International Journal of Climatology, 29 (11). pp. 1642-1660. ISSN 1097-0088

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


The regional atmospheric circulation is a major driver of climate for western Europe and so the ability of climate models to accurately simulate its characteristics forms an important part of the rigorous testing of their performance. In this paper we examine the skills of seven regional climate models (RCMs) to reproduce mean daily temperatures for the central England region. Their ability to reproduce observed characteristics of the circulation is then tested using three airflow indices. This is achieved by comparing: (1) the frequency distribution of each index, (2) the relationships between the daily airflow indices and temperature, including daily extremes and (3) the ability of models to reproduce the observed persistence of specific flow regimes and the temperature response to this persistence. It is demonstrated that RCM selection introduces uncertainty into temperature simulations and that there is no single model which outperforms the others. Although the models qualitatively reproduce the observed distributions of the airflow indices reasonably well, most models produce distributions that are statistically significantly different from the observations. In particular, all models overestimate the frequency of winter westerly flow, and biases in the relationships between circulation and temperature are also noted for extreme values of the airflow indices. The persistence of flow regimes is shown to have a significant effect on the observed temperature, though models have difficulty in reproducing the magnitude of the response to this persistence for some flow types. The results presented here not only form a useful model validation exercise but also further highlight the need for the use of multi-model ensembles in the generation of future climate scenarios. Furthermore, they suggest that the use of atmospheric circulation in statistical downscaling methods might be enhanced by the inclusion of persistence, particularly when producing scenarios of temperature extremes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Climatic Research Unit
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2011 15:25
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2023 23:50
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/24351
DOI: 10.1002/joc.1807

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item