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WP 2.5 Future climate projections in mountain areas

The availability of results produced with climate numerical simulations is essential to complement and interpret the information provided by observed data and to develop forecasting and impact estimation methodologies. This work-package will build and make available an archive of climate data obtained from global, regional and local numerical simulations, existing or produced in the framework of the project. Besides, statistical and stochastic downscaling methodologies will be developed and implemented in order to provide climate data at very high resolution, suitable for impact studies in areas of specific interest. The work-package is structured into two main tasks:

Task 1. Building an archive of results from global, regional and local climate simulations, either already existing or produced in the framework of the project. Archives of global climate data related to the industrial period (1850-2005) and future projections (RCP 3-PD, RCP 4.5, RCP 8.5 scenarios) for the 2006-2100 period will be built. These data will be obtained from simulations performed using global climate models available at the participating institutions, such as the CMCC climate model and the EC-Earth model used by the National Research Council. Some of the simulations will be carried out and archived at the CMCC computing center, while others will be carried out and made available at CINECA and ENEA. These simulations will provide an ensemble of modeled results that will form a basis of global data for the characterization of meteo-climatic conditions at large scale. The results of global models will also be used as boundary conditions for simulations at regional and local level conducted with high-resolution, limited area models. Furthermore, the global simulations will be integrated with those available from international programs, such as CMIP5, and those performed within the EC-Earth consortium.

The archive will also make available climate data from hydrostatic simulations performed with limited area models in regions of special interest for the project, including both results from atmosphere-only simulations and results from coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations in the Mediterranean Basin. The hydrostatic regional simulations will be conducted at CMCC, ENEA and ICTP and will be made available at the archives and numeric portals created at the centers during the project. Besides, these simulations will be compared and supplemented by those produced in the framework of the international initiative CORDEX. The database will also include results from a set of case studies of non-hydrostatic simulations at very high resolution (1-10 km) in mountainous areas, where the complex terrain will require the development of particular modeling solutions. In these areas, the comparison between the numerical results and the data collected from observations will be essential for the calibration and validation of the local-scale models. These models will be nested into global simulations to obtain an archive of future scenarios with high spatial resolution in mountainous regions of specific interest.

Task 2. Development and implementation of statistical and stochastic downscaling methods for temperature and precipitation capable of representing the orographic effects for Italian mountain regions. All simulations and disaggregated scenarios will be made available on the project thematic portals.