CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Dependence of Present and Future European Temperature Extremes on the Location of Atmospheric Blocking

Lukas Brunner, Nathalie Schaller, James Anstey, Jana Sillmann, Andrea K. Steiner

The impact of atmospheric blocking on European heat waves (HWs) and cold spells (CSs) is investigated for present and future conditions . A 50‐member ensemble of the second generation Canadian Earth System Model is used to quantify the role of internal variability in the response to blocking. We find that the present blocking‐extreme temperature link is well represented compared to ERA‐Interim, despite a significant underestimation of blocking frequency in most ensemble members. Our results show a strong correlation of blocking with northern European HWs in summer, spring, and fall. However, we also find a strong anticorrelation between blocking and HW occurrence in southern Europe in all seasons. Blocking increases the CS frequency particularly in southern Europe in fall, winter, and spring but reduces it in summer. For the future we find that blocking will continue to play an important role in the development of both CSs and HWs in all seasons.

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