Paper Published by Scientific Reports

Title: Future projections of temperature-related indices in Prince Edward Island using ensemble average of three CMIP6 models

Journal: Scientific Reports


Abstract: Prince Edward Island (PEI) is an agricultural province heavily relying on rainfed agriculture. The island has already experienced significant impacts from climate change. Accurate projections of PEI temperature extreme indices are required to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate conditions. This study aims to develop ensemble projections using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) global circulation models (GCMs) to analyze temperature extremes on PEI. In this study, the ECMWF ERA5 reanalysis dataset was chosen for stepwise cluster analysis (SCA) due to its high accuracy. Three CMIP6 (NorESM2-MM, MPI-ESM1.2-HR, and CanESM5) GCMs, along with their ensemble average, were utilized in the SCA model to project future changes in daily maximum temperature (Tmax) and minimum temperature (Tmin) at four meteorological stations on PEI (East Point, Charlottetown, Summerside, and North Cape) under two shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5). These GCMs were selected based on their low, medium, and high Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. The bias-corrected results for the future period of Tmax and Tmin showed that the GCM-specific changes in the ECS also impact the regional scale. Additionally, several temperature extreme indices, including the daily temperature range (DTR), summer days (SU), growing degree days (GDD), growing season length (GSL), ice days (ID), and frost days (FD), were analyzed for two future periods: FP1(202–2050) and FP2 (2051–2075). The results indicate that DTR, SU, GDD, and GSL are expected to increase, while ID and FD are projected to decrease during FP1 and FP2 under both scenarios. The future projected mean monthly changes in Tmax, Tmin, and the selected temperature extreme indices highlight warmer future periods and an increase in agriculture-related indices such as GDD and GSL. Specifically, July, August, and September are expected to experience even higher temperatures in the future. As the climate becomes warmer, cold extreme events are projected to be shorter in duration but more intense in terms of their impact. The largest increments/decrements for Tmax, Tmin, and their relevant indices were observed during FP2 under SSP5-8.5. The outcomes of this study provide valuable insights for agricultural development, water resource management, and the formulation of effective mitigation strategies to address the impacts of climate change on PEI.