The occurrence of cold spells in the alps related to climate change

Marco Galli, Seungmin Oh, Claudio Cassardo, Seon Ki Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Climate change is not only a likely prospect for the end of this century, but it is already occurring. Part of the changes will include global warming and increasing temperature variability, both at global and regional scales. This increased variability was investigated in this paper from the point of view of the occurrence of cold spells in the Alps in the future climate (2071-2100), compared with the present climate (1961-1990). For this purpose, a regionalisation of the climate change effects was performed within the Alps. To avoid possible errors in the estimate of the 2m air temperature, the analysis was performed on the soil surface temperature. To get realistic values for this variable, a land surface scheme, UTOPIA, has been run on the selected domain, using the output of the Regional Climate Model (RegCM3) simulations as the driving force. The results show that, in general, the number of cold breaks is decreasing over the Alps, due to the temperature increment. However, there are certain zones where the behaviour is more complicated. The analysis of the model output also allowed a relationship to be found between the number of cold breaks and their duration. The significance of these results over the whole area was assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 by the authors.


  • Climate change
  • Climate extremes
  • Cold spells
  • LSPM


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