In the current study four high resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) developed within the EU-ENSEMBLES Project (www.ensembles-eu.org) have been used. A brief description of these models follows:
The first model ‘C4IRCA3’ is provided by the Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland (C4I). This is based on the third version of the Rossby Centre regional Atmospheric Climate model (RCA3) driven by the HadCM3Q16 high-sensitivity simulation (Kjellström et al., 2005, Jones et al., 2004). The model uses 206x206 horizontal grid points and 31 vertical levels.
The second model ‘KNMI-RACMO2’, used in this work, was provided by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, widely known as KNMI). The KNMI regional climate model RACMO2 (Lenderink et al., 2003; van den Hurk et al., 2006) is forced with output from a transient run conducted with the ECHAM5 GCM. This model uses 40 vertical levels on a horizontal 95x85 (lat x lon) grid.
The third model ‘METO-HC_HadRM3Q’ was produced in the UK Met Office and it based on the HadCM3Q global climate model. The RCM is projected on a rotated pole projection, with regular latitude/longitude. The number of horizontal grid points is 214x220 (lat x lon) and the number vertical levels is 19 (Collins et al, 2006).
The fourth model used is the ‘MPI-M-REMO’ (Jacob, 2001; Jacob, et al., 2001) which has been developed in the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM), Hamburg in Germany. The parent GCM is the ECHAM5 and the RCM has been projected on a rotated spherical coordinate system. This model covers 109x121 grid points horizontally with 27 vertical levels in the atmosphere.
All models have a horizontal resolution of 25 km × 25 km and use the A1B greenhouse gases emissions scenario (Nakicenovic et al., 2000). Present day simulations cover the period 1971-2000. In order to reduce model uncertainties the ensemble mean of the aforementioned RCMs has been used.
The performance of the RCM datasets is assessed based on monthly temperature patterns (minimum, maximum and mean temperature annual cycles). The evaluation has been implemented between the station and the nearest grid point of the models ensemble mean at the two selected stations of Thissio-Athens and Palma-Mallorca.