Review of Surface Solar Radiation Projections in Bias-Corrected Euro-Cordex Regional Climate Models

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Abstract

Regional climate models (RCMs) are used in a wide range of climate applications as they can provide high resolution (up to 10 to 20 km or less) and multi-decadal simulations of the climate system describing climate feedback mechanisms acting at the regional scale. However due to different forcing data and physics parametrisations regional climate models might produce different results. This study aims to achieve a state-of-the-art knowledge of bias-corrected surface solar radiation projections coming from 11 EURO-CORDEX regional climate models. First a comparison against 63 GEBA observations is elaborated indicating a general overestimation of surface solar radiation (SSR) in the RCMs by 6.12 W/m2 (4.4%). Next changes in surface radiation between the period of 2031-2060 and 1971-2000 are presented on annual and seasonal time scale. The model projections indicate robust increase in SSR mainly in the western part of the Mediterranean region, while the northern part of the continent is characterised by decreases in SSR till the middle of this century. The study emphasis the need of an overall validation of different climate models before introducing them in impact studies in order to have an overview regarding the uncertainties.

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