Projected changes in soil temperature and surface energy budget components over the Alps and Northern Italy

Claudio Cassardo, Seon Ki Park, O. Sungmin, Marco Galli

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3 Scopus citations


This study investigates the potential changes in surface energy budget components under certain future climate conditions over the Alps and Northern Italy. The regional climate scenarios are obtained though the Regional Climate Model version 3 (RegCM3) runs, based on a reference climate (1961-1990) and the future climate (2071-2100) via the A2 and B2 scenarios. The energy budget components are calculated by employing the University of Torino model of land Processes Interaction with Atmosphere (UTOPIA), and using the RegCM3 outputs as input data. Our results depict a significant change in the energy budget components during springtime over high-mountain areas, whereas the most relevant difference over the plain areas is the increase in latent heat flux and hence, evapotranspiration during summertime. The precedence of snow-melting season over the Alps is evidenced by the earlier increase in sensible heat flux. The annual mean number of warm and cold days is evaluated by analyzing the top-layer soil temperature and shows a large increment (slight reduction) of warm (cold) days. These changes at the end of this century could influence the regional radiative properties and energy cycles and thus, exert significant impacts on human life and general infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number954
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In performing this research, S. O was partly supported by the University of Torino (UNITO) to visit its Department of Physics under theWorldWide Style grant. C. Cassardo and S.K. Park were supported by the governments of Italy and Korea, respectively, to visit each institution for collaborative research via the bilateral scientific agreements. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2018R1A6A1A08025520). The work was partially done during a sabbatical leave by S.K. Park to UNITO in 2017. The authors thank the Earth SystemPhysics Section of the ICTP, Italy, for providing the RegCM3 dataset. The ECOCLIMAP data is available online from

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Climate change
  • Heat flux
  • Land surface model
  • Snowmelt
  • Soil temperature
  • Surface energy budget


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