Topography modifies summer precipitation response to climate change
Past studies of European climate change have projected a large-scale drying for the summer season. A recent ensemble of high-resolution regional climate models confirms these results for Europe, but also projects increases in mean Alpine precipitation. In addition, the tendency towards heavier thunderstorms is confirmed.
A recent Nature Geoscience study coauthored by Christoph Schär and Nikolina Ban shows that topography modulates the summer precipitation response to climate change. Analysis of summer precipitation in high-resolution regional climate model simulations reveals an increase in mean Alpine precipitation that is not present in the global simulations. This finding is associated with increased convective rainfall (i.e., thunderstorms and rain showers), and is consistent across regional and convection-resolving climate models.
Giorgi F., C. Torma, E. Coppola, N. Ban, C. Schär and S. Somot (2016): Enhanced summer convective rainfall at Alpine high elevations in response to climate warming, Nature Geoscience, http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2761.html