Statistical uncertainty of changes in winter storms over the North Atlantic and Europe in an ensemble of transient climate simulations
Della-Marta, P. M. and Pinto, J. G. (2009) Statistical uncertainty of changes in winter storms over the North Atlantic and Europe in an ensemble of transient climate simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (14). L14703. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038557
Winter storms are among the most important natural hazards affecting Europe. We quantify changes in storm frequency and intensity over the North Atlantic and Europe under future climate scenarios in terms of return periods (RPs) considering uncertainties due to both sampling and methodology. RPs of North Atlantic storms' minimum central pressure (CP) and maximum vorticity (VOR) remain unchanged by 2100 for both the A1B and A2 scenarios compared to the present climate. Whereas shortened RPs for VOR of all intensities are detected for the area between British Isles/North-Sea/western Europe as early as 2040. However, the changes in storm VOR RP may be unrealistically large: a present day 50 (20) year event becomes approximately a 9 (5.5) year event in both A1B and A2 scenarios by 2100. The detected shortened RPs of storms implies a higher risk of occurrence of damaging wind events over Europe.