Variability in the summer season hydrological cycle over the Atlantic-Europe region 1979-2007
Allan, R.P. and Zveryaev, I.I. (2011) Variability in the summer season hydrological cycle over the Atlantic-Europe region 1979-2007. International Journal of Climatology, 31 (3). pp. 337-348. ISSN 0899-8418
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/joc.2070
Variability in aspects of the hydrological cycle over the Europe-Atlantic region during the summer season is analysed for the period 1979-2007, using observational estimates, reanalyses and climate model simulations. Warming and moistening trends are evident in observations and models although decadal changes in water vapour are not well represented by reanalyses, including the new European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim reanalysis. Over the north Atlantic and northern Europe, observed water vapour trends are close to that expected from the temperature trends and Clausius-Clapeyron equation (7% K-1), larger than the model simulations. Precipitation over Europe is dominated by large-scale dynamics with positive phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation coinciding with drier conditions over north Europe and wetter conditions over the Mediterranean region. Evaporation trends over Europe are positive in reanalyses and models, especially for the Mediterranean region (1-3% per decade in reanalyses and climate models). Over the north Atlantic, declining precipitation combined with increased moisture contributed to an apparent rise in water vapour residence time. Maximum precipitation minus evaporation over the north Atlantic occurred during summer 1991, declining thereafter.