Future climate of the Caribbean from a regional climate model

Scenarios of rainfall and temperature changes for the period 2071–2100 under the A2 and B2 Special Report on Emissions scenarios are examined using the Hadley Centre Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies regional climate model. The model simulates ‘present-day’ (1979–1990) rainfall and temperature climatologies reasonably well, capturing the characteristic bimodality of Caribbean rainfall and the boreal summer maximum and winter minimum temperatures. Seasonal spatial patterns are also reproduced, but rainfall amounts are underestimated over the northern Caribbean island masses, including Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Temperatures over the region are also overestimated by 1–3 °C. For the period 2071–2100, temperatures are projected to increase across the region by 1–4 °C for all months irrespective of the scenario. The rainfall response varies with season with one of the more robust changes being an intensification of a gradient pattern in November–January, in which the northern Caribbean (i.e. north of 22°N) gets wetter and the southern Caribbean gets drier. There is also a robust June–October drying signal. The results point to changes in the regional circulation patterns due to the human-induced climate change and warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society

Associated spaces

Jamaica , Puerto Rico

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