Researchers of the University of Parma study future climate
In climatology, the term "climate change" means changes in the Earth's climate related to different spatial scales and historical and temporal considerations in relation to the mean values of one or more environmental and climate parameters; it affects many different scientific fields: meteorology, physics, oceanography, chemistry, astronomy, geography, geology and biology.
IPCC (or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), is the main intergovernmental body that assesses climate change, its social and economic impact, and possible response strategies, by objectively reviewing scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to the understanding of the risks and possible impacts of climate change induced by man.
IPCC prepares an Evaluation Report, now in its fifth edition, which includes new evidence of climate change based on a number of independent scientific analyses, observation of the climate system, paleoclimatic archives, theoretical studies on climate processes, simulations through climate models.
A team of researchers including hydraulic and environmental engineers of the Department of Engineering and Architecture of the University of Parma, Unit of Civil and Environmental Engineering, coordinated by Prof. Maria Giovanna Tanda in collaboration with engineers Massimo Ferraresi, Marco D’Oria, Chiara Cozzi is carrying out investigations on climate change and its impact on the territory based on the contents of the fifth IPCC Assessment Report on Climate Change.
The basins of Taro river and Parma and Enza torrents were considered, by using general (GCM) and regional (RCM) climate models developed within the EURO-CORDEX project, by developing projections of climate variables until 2100, in three possible future frameworks (short term, 2016-2035, medium term, 2046-2065 and long term, 2081-2100), which will be compared with a reference period (1986-2005).
The results obtained show that territorial trends are heterogeneous, with winter increases and summer decreases, substantially unchanged at annual level; considerable change in the type of precipitations with reduction in weak events and increase in intense events; and regular and diffused overheating in the investigated area with increased average temperatures up to +2.5°C in the long term.
Preliminary studies provided an evaluation of the availability of future water resources: increased intense rain events could reduce the portion of water that infiltrates underground, while increased temperature could increase evapotranspiration, with consequent reduction in superficial water resources.