Investigating the Influence of Anthropogenic Forcing on ObservedMean and Extreme Sea Level Pressure Trends over the Mediterranean Region


We investigate whether the observedmean sea level pressure (SLP) trends over theMediterranean region in the period from1975 to 2004 are significantly consistent with what 17models projected as response of SLP to anthropogenic forcing (greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols, GS). Obtained results indicate that the observed trends in mean SLP cannot be explained by natural (internal) variability. Externally forced changes are detectable in all seasons, except spring. The large-scale component (spatial mean) of the GS signal is detectable in all the 17 models in winter and in 12 of the 17 models in summer. However, the small-scale component (spatial anomalies about the spatial mean) of GS signal is only detectable in winter within 11 of the 17 models. We also show that GS signal has a detectable influence on observed decreasing (increasing) tendency in the frequencies of extremely low (high) SLP days in winter and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability. While the detection of GS forcing is robust in winter and summer, there are striking inconsistencies in autumn, where analysis points to the presence of an external forcing, which is not GS forcing.
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