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Summer climate over Europe in recent decades has been characterized by a drying trend and by the occurrence of especially devastating drought and flood events, such as in the summers of 2002 and 2003. We compare these trends with results from regional climate model simulations of future climate over Europe under increased greenhouse gas concentrations (GHG). We find that the projected changes in mean summer precipitation and large‐scale circulations are remarkably consistent with the observed changes in recent decades. Although we cannot directly attribute the observed changes to an anthropogenic GHG forcing, this result suggests that the observed drying trend over most of Europe might continue in the future. Our experiments additionally indicate substantial changes in the intensity and persistence of summer drought and flood. We identify the Central Mediterranean and Central/Western Europe to be especially vulnerable to increases in both summer drought and flood.
Pal, J. S., Giorgi, F., and Bi, X. (2004), Consistency of recent European summer precipitation trends and extremes with future regional climate projections, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, doi:10.1029/2004GL019836.