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Future climate in Hesse


Summary

  • For the period 2071 to 2100, the averages of several climate models show an increase in the annual mean temperature in Hesse by about 3° C in comparison to the period 1971 to 2000
  • By the end of the century, temperature extremes between day and night will increase significantly
  • Precipitation decreases of up to 20% must be expected in summer
  • Extreme precipitation will increase strongly
  • South Hesse will most likely be affected more strongly than the North [1]


Environmental atlas Hesse

In the environmental atlas Hesse, the Hessian Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology provides an overview of environmental data as well as an analysis of 22 different combinations of global and regional climate models for the scenario A1B. The results for temperature and precipitation at the end of the century in Hesse are presented below. Other sources than the environmental atlas Hesse are cited.

FrankfurtRheinMain region

The following results mostly refer to the State of Hesse. Sometimes a distinction can be made between the north and the south of Hesse. In these cases, the results for south Hesse are a first approximation for the situation in the FrankfurtRheinMain region. Currently there is no climate projection especially for the region.

Temperatures by the end of the century

The mean values of several climate models show that an increase of the average annual temperature by 3° C or more at the end of the century (in comparison to the reference period 1971 to 2000) is likely. Between 2031 and 2060, average annual temperature will have already increased by 1.7° C (multi-model mean) compared to the reference period. If one considers the model extremes, future temperature increases may also be lower or clearly higher.

 

Further details on future temperatures

  • Especially the winter and summer are heating up quickly
  • In the period from 2071 to 2100, the number of summer days (reference period 1971 to 2000) will double to triple
  • In the period from 2071 to 2100, the number of hot days (reference period 1971 to 2000) will probably increase by 20
  • The extremely hot summer of 2003, which had great impacts on human health, ecosystems, the state economy, and many other human and natural systems, will be a completely normal summer by the end of the century
  • The number of tropical nights increases [2
  • Heat waves will become longer [2] 
  • Droughts in the summer will be longer [2]
  • South Hesse and the FrankfurtRheinMain region (plus the Ried region) will be exposed to stronger temperature increases and longer heat waves than the middle and north of Hesse, see red markings in the illustration above [2]


Precipitation at the end of the century

For the future, model results show strong changes in precipitation throughout the seasons. While summers towards the end of the century are defined by strong decreases in precipitation (-20% in the multi-model mean compared to reference period 1971 to 2000), more precipitation is expected in future winters (+14% in the multi-model mean).


Further details on future precipitation

  • In the period from 2071 to 2100, mean annual precipitation changes little in comparison to the period from 1971 to 2000
  • On the other hand, the seasonal distribution and intensity of precipitation changes greatly; this impacts agriculture and forestry, natural ecosystems, water availability, as well as many other human and natural systems
  • Stronger (and more frequent) extreme precipitation is expected in all seasons, especially fall and spring [2
  • The risk of droughts increases [2]
  • South Hesse will have to expect more droughts than north Hesse [2]            

Sources

[1] Hessian Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology – Hessisches Landesamt für Naturschutz, Umwelt und Geologie (HLNUG). Umweltatlas Hessen. Retrieved 04.12.2017 from: http://atlas.umwelt.hessen.de/atlas/

[2] Schindler, A., Lange, T., Luterbacher, J., Maraun, D. (2014). Klimawandel und Extremwetter in Hessen – Analyse von Beobachtungsdaten des 20 Jahrhunderts und Ensembleprojektionen für das 21. Jahrhundert.