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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 5163-5172, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-13-5163-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 5163-5172, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-13-5163-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 22 May 2013

Research article | 22 May 2013

Extreme winds over Europe in the ENSEMBLES regional climate models

S. D. Outten and I. Esau S. D. Outten and I. Esau
  • Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Thormhlensgt. 47, 5006 Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Extreme winds cause vast amounts of damage every year and represent a major concern for numerous industries including construction, afforestation, wind energy and many others. Under a changing climate, the intensity and frequency of extreme events are expected to change, and accurate projections of these changes will be invaluable to decision makers and society as a whole. This work examines four regional climate model downscalings over Europe following 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 return wind is projected to change by less than 2 m s−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 20 m s−1 between two different downscalings.

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