Climate Scenarios and Agricultural Indices: A Case Study for Switzerland

Flavian Tschurr, Iris Feigenwinter, Andreas M. Fischer, Sven Kotlarski
2020 Atmosphere  
The CH2018 Climate Scenarios for Switzerland are evaluated with respect to the representation of 24 indices with agricultural relevance. Furthermore, future projections of the considered indices until the end of the 21st century are analyzed for two greenhouse gas scenarios (Representative Concentrations Pathways RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). The validation reveals good results for indices that are based on one or two climate variables only and on simple temporal aggregations. Indices that involve
more » ... e climate variables, complex temporal statistics or extreme conditions are less well represented. The climate projection analysis indicates an intensification of temperature-related extreme events such as heat waves. In general, climate change signals in the indices considered are subject to three main patterns: a horizontal pattern across Switzerland, a vertical pattern depending on elevation and a temporal pattern with an intensification of change in the course of the 21st century. Changes are in most cases more pronounced for the high-emission RCP8.5 scenario compared to the mitigation scenario RCP2.6. Overall, the projections indicate a challenging 21st century climate for the agricultural sector. Our findings furthermore show the value and the necessity of a robust validation of climate scenario products to enable trustworthy and valuable impact analyses, especially for more complex indices and models.
doi:10.3390/atmos11050535 fatcat:s2tn5q6adbew7km2zmsrojxtiu