Temperature and precipitation changes in Sweden; a wide range of model-based projections for the 21st century.

Type: Report
Series: RMK 113
Author: Petter Lind, Erik Kjellström


In this report we analyze the climate change signal for Sweden in scenarios for the 21st century in a large number of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs), used in the fourth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We focus on near-surface temperature and precipitation. The analysis includes six emission scenarios as well as multi-member runs with the AOGCMs. At the Rossby Centre, SMHI, regional climate models have been run under different emission scenarios and driven by a few AOGCMs. The results of those runs have been used as a basis in climate change, impact and adaptation assessments. Here, we evaluate results from these regional climate model runs in relation to the climate change signal of the IPCC AOGCMs. First, simulated conditions for the recent past (1961-1990) are evaluated. Generally, most AOGCMs tend to have a cold bias for Sweden, especially in winter that can be as large as 10°C. Also, the coarse resolution of the AOGCMs leads to biases in simulated precipitation, both in averages, extremes and often also in the phase of the seasonal cycle. Generally, AOGCMs overestimate precipitation in winter; biases reach 30-40% or even more. In summer, some AOGCMs overestimate precipitation while others underestimate it. Projected responses depend on season and geographical region. Largest signals are seen in winter and in northern Sweden, where the mean simulated temperature increase among the AOGCMs (and across the emissions scenarios B1, A1B and A2) is nearly 6°C by the end of the century, and precipitation increases by around 25%. In southern Sweden, corresponding values are around +4°C and +11%. In summer, the temperature increase is more moderate, which is also the case for precipitation. The regional climate signals are usually within the ranges given by the AOGCM runs, however, the regional models tends to show larger increases in winter, and smaller increases in summertime precipitation.