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A dynamical and thermodynamic mechanism to explain heavy snowfalls in current and future climate over Italy during cold spells

Abstract : Cold and snowy spells are compound extreme events with the potential of causing high socioeconomic impacts. Gaining insight on their dynamics in climate change scenarios could help anticipating the need for adaptation efforts. We focus on winter cold and snowy spells over Italy, reconstructing 32 major events in the past 60 years from documentary sources. Despite warmer winter temperatures, very recent cold spells have been associated to abundant, and sometimes exceptional snowfall. Our goal is to analyse the dynamical weather patterns associated to these events, and understand whether those patterns would be more or less recurrent in different emission scenarios using an intermediate complexity model (PlaSim). Our results, obtained by considering RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 end-of-century CO2 concentrations, suggest that the likelihood of analogous synoptic configurations of these extreme cold spells would grow substantially under increased emissions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02367559
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 11:19:01 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 30, 2022 - 3:39:52 AM

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Miriam d'Errico, Flavio Pons, Pascal yiou, Soulivanh Thao, Cesare Nardini, et al.. A dynamical and thermodynamic mechanism to explain heavy snowfalls in current and future climate over Italy during cold spells. Earth System Dynamics, European Geosciences Union, In press, ⟨10.5194/esd-2020-61⟩. ⟨hal-02367559v3⟩

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