A new set of climate change scenarios for 2050 for the Netherlands was produced recently. The scenarios span a wide range of possible future climate conditions, and include climate variables that are of interest to a broad user community. The scenario values are constructed by combining output from an ensemble of recent General Climate Model (GCM) simulations, Regional Climate Model (RCM) output, meteorological observations and a touch of expert judgment. For temperature, precipitation, potential evaporation and wind four scenarios are constructed, encompassing ranges of both global mean temperature rise in 2050 and the strength of the response of the dominant atmospheric circulation in the area of interest to global warming. For this particular area, wintertime precipitation is seen to increase between 3.5 and 7% per degree global warming, but mean summertime precipitation shows opposite signs depending on the assumed response of the circulation regime. Annual maximum daily mean wind speed shows small changes compared to the observed (natural) variability of this variable. Sea level rise in the North Sea in 2100 ranges between 35 and 85 cm. Preliminary assessment of the impact of the new scenarios on water management and coastal defence policies indicate that particularly dry summer scenarios and increased intensity of extreme daily precipitation deserves additional attention in the near future.

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