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Trends in temperature and precipitation in the Pyrenees range over the period 1950-2010 Studying the climate of the Pyrenees



The aim of this study is to detect climate trends and variability from temperature and precipitation observations in Pyrenees range for the period 1950–2010 at seasonal and annual time scale. Within the framework of the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory, OPCC, a cross-border database was created to obtain a global climatic diagnosis on the Pyrenees common to both sides of the mountain range. Sixty six long series of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures and one hundred thirty nine series of monthly precipitations were selected then homogenized by means of one single statistical tool HOMER (Action COST-ES0601). Results showed a solid description of climate dynamics over the past six decades and provide an insight into the variability and climate change in the Pyrenees. Thus, an increase in temperatures of 0,2° C per decade on the whole mountain area was detected, with a significant rise during the last three decades. A more pronounced warming in summer than winter was detected since the 1950s. These results are largely consistent with those observed in neighboring regions and the general trend of the climate in Western Europe. The analysis of precipitation trends indicates a high spatial and temporal variability. Small negative trends were found in annual and summer rainfall, but changes in precipitation are less consistent and the trends are generally weak.
Trends in temperature and precipitation in the Pyrenees range
over the period 1950-2010
José María CUADRAT.(1), Roberto SERRANO-NOTIVOLI(1), Miguel Ángel SAZ(1), Ernesto
TEJEDOR(1), Marc PROHOM(2), Jordi CUNILLERA(2), Jean-Michel SOUBEYROUX(3), Nathalie
(1) Dept. Geography and Regional Planning, University of Zaragoza (Spain) (2) Servei Meteorològic de Catalunya (Spain) (3) Direction de la
Climatologie, Météo-France (France)
Studying the climate of the Pyrenees
On the impulsion of the new Climate Change Pyrenees Observatory
(OPCC), the four national Meteorological services of the mountain
range (AEMET, Meteo France, SMC and CENMA) and academic
institution (Zaragoza University), have initiated an inventory of data
and applications for a climatic characterization of the Pyrenees and its
current evolution. The main objective is tools development to trace
climate change indices based, initailly, on long, complete, high quality,
and homogeneus temperature and rainfall series.
The main features of new climate database are:
Monthly data series of Maximum (Tmax) and minimum (Tmin)
temperatures, and precipitation of period 1950-2010.
Includes 66 Tmax and Tmin series, and 144 precipitacion series.
All statistical computations were developed with HOMER software,
based on Action COST-ES0601
Problems: geographic and orographic diversity, low density of
observatories, continuity problems (specially at temperatures), very
few stations at altitudes above 1.500 m, limited info about metadata
in many stations.
Data base creation
Quality control
Detection and correction/removing anomalies.
Comparative analysis of each series with its neighbors and
climatically close (HOMER software).
Homogeneity analysis
The aim is detecting discontinuity points (breakpoints) in monthly
series of temperature and precipitation, series adjustment, and final
quality definition of homogeneus series.
Related publications
Cuadrat JM, Serrano-Notivoli R, Saz MA, Tejedor E, Prohom M, Cunillera J,
Soubeyroux JM, Deaux N. 2013. Creación de una base de datos homogeneizada
de temperaturas para los Pirineos (1950-2010). Geographicalia,63-64:63-74.
Deaux N, Soubeyroux JM, Cuadrat JM, Cunillera J, Esteban P, Prohom M,
Serrano-Notivoli R. 2014. Homogénéisation transfrontalière des températures sur
le massif des Pyrénées. In XXVII Colloque de lÁssociation Internationale de
Climatologie, At Dijon.
Prohom M, Cunillera J, Serrano-Notivoli R, Cuadrat JM, Tejedor E, Saz MA,
Esteban P, Soubeyroux JM, Deaux N. 2014. A new homogenized climate database
for the Pyrenees (1950-2010). 14th EMS Annual Meeting & 10th ECAC, At Prague,
Volume: 11
The project Climate Change Pyrenees Observatory (OPCC) ref. num. EFA235/11 is funded by Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA), community
financial aid programme (FEDER budget)
Tmax, Tmin y Tmean trends for 66 analized series.
Rainfall trends for 144 series analized series.
Climatic index for monitoring temperatures in Pyrenees with 12
series, for period 1959-2010.
Climatic cartography of Pyrenees.
An increase of 0.205ºC per decade is observed in temperatures.
Precipitations tend to decrease about a 2.5% per decade
decreases with
elevation. Most
of the areas
with an average
less than 0ºC
are located over
3,000 masl.
The gradient is
more abrupt in
the French side
due to the
draws a
gradient from
higher values at
Vizcaya Bay to
lower in
coast. The are
non significant
between French
and Spanish
... These results confirm a progressive degradation of permafrost during the last decades as a consequence of increasing AT. 37 In addition, the rapid wastage and thinning of the Ossoue glacier, with a glaciological mass balance of This could potentially become a local topoclimatic and climate decoupling factor in the final stages of these glaciers, as has been observed before in similar marginal glaciers. 23,24 These findings highlight the need to systematically study rock wall permafrost in the Pyrenees, as this would be an effective baseline for assessing climate change impacts in a permafrost-affected mountain range, including hazards assessment and related cryogenic geomorphological processes. ...
Permafrost is a relevant component of the Pyrenean high mountains, triggering a wide range of geomorphological cryogenic processes. Although in the past decades there has been an increase in frozen ground studies in the Pyrenees, there are no specific studies about rock wall permafrost, its presence, distribution, thermal regime, or historical evolution. This work combines measured rock surface temperatures (RSTs, from August 2013 to April 2016) along an elevation profile (four sites) on the north facing the rock wall of the Vignemale peak (3,298 m a.s.l., 42°46′16″N/0°08′33″W) and temperature modeling (CryoGRID2) to determine the presence of permafrost and to analyze its evolution since the mid-20th century. Simulations are run with various RST forcings and bedrock properties to account for forcing data uncertainty and varying degrees of rock fracturing. Results reveal that warm permafrost may have existed down to 2,600 m a.s.l. until the early 1980s and that warm permafrost is currently found at ~2,800 m a.s.l. and up to 3,000 m a.s.l. Cold (<−2°C) permafrost may exist above 3,100–3,200 m a.s.l. Systematic investigations on rock wall permafrost must be conducted to refine those results in the Pyrenees. The elevation shift in warm permafrost suggests an imminent disappearance of permafrost in the Vignemale peak.
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