Extreme value indicators in highly resolved climate change simulations for the Jordan River area

R. Samuels, G. Smiatek, S. Krichak, H. Kunstmann, P. Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding changing trends and frequency of extreme rainfall and temperature events is extremely important for optimal planning in many sectors, including agriculture, water resource management, health, and even economics. For people living in the Jordan River region of the Middle East such changes can have immediate devastating impacts as water resources are already scarce and overexploited and summer temperatures in the desert regions can reach 45°C or higher. Understanding shifts in frequency and intensity of extreme events can provide crucial information for planning and adaptation. In this paper we present results from regional climate model simulations with RegCM3 and MM5 centered on the eastern Mediterranean region. Our analysis focuses on changes in extreme temperature and rainfall events. We show that maximum daily summer temperature is expected to increase by between 2.5°C and 3°C, with an increase in warm spell length. Precipitation extremes are expected to increase with longer dry spells, shorter wet spells, and increases in heavy rainfall. Model agreement for the control period 1961-1990 is higher in the southern region than in the north, perhaps because of the complex topography, suggesting that even small differences in spatial scale play an important role. In addition, we notice that the chosen global model plays an important role in determining future temperature trends, while the choice of regional climate model is critical for understanding how precipitation is expected to evolve.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD24123
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Volume116
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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