Keywords: extreme climate index, trend analysis, precipitation, daily maximum temperature, daily minimum temperature, Carpathian Basin, A2 scenario, B2 scenario, rainfall, climate change, global warming
A comparison of the observed trends and simulated changes in extreme climate indices in the Carpathian Basin by the end of this century
Global warming results in shifts of mean temperature and precipitation, and also, in frequency and intensity changes of climate extremes. In this paper, temperature and precipitation extreme indices are analysed and compared for the Carpathian Basin (located in Central/Eastern Europe). For past trends, daily meteorological observations from the 20th century are used. In the case of future changes (2071-2100 relative to 1961-1990, A2 and B2 scenarios), the simulated daily outputs are obtained from regional climate model experiments. The results suggest that the regional climate of the Carpathian Basin got warmer during the second half of the 20th century, especially in the last quarter. Regional warming is expected to continue in the 21st century, cold temperature extremes are projected to decrease in frequency, while warm extremes will tend to increase significantly. Regarding precipitation, the regional intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation have increased in the past decades, while the total precipitation decreased in the region and the mean climate became drier. The projected changes in different seasons are opposite to each other; the extreme precipitation events are expected to become more intense and frequent in winter, while a general decrease of the extreme precipitation indices is expected in summer.