Mid-term Colloquium by Jens Baunbæk Lindskjold – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Mid-term Colloquium by Jens Baunbæk Lindskjold

Trends in Danish precipitation the past 136 years

Is the observed warming affecting the seasonal and annual precipitation as well as extreme precipitation events?

Denmark has been experiencing a warming of the order of 1,5 degree Celsius since the beginning of nationwide measurements in 1874.
Warmer air masses can contain more water vapor, and this is expected to lead to a stronger hydrological cycle. According to IPCC we can in general expect more precipitation in northern Europe in a warmer climate during winter, while models do not agree on the affects on summer precipitation. The increase in winter precipitation over northern Europe is predicted by IPPC to be around 20%.
Of special concern is the occurrence of extreme precipitation. These events occur over continents and especially in summer time in convectively unstable air masses. They are very local of nature, but have great economical and environmental consequences. IPCC sates in their report from 2007 that extremes of daily precipitation are very likely to increase in northern Europe.
Using statistical methods compared with a theoretical discussion of how extreme precipitation measurements are made, it is investigated if Denmark is already experiencing this trend.
Supervisor: Aksel Walløe Hansen