Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-41
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-41
 
18 Mar 2022
18 Mar 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NHESS.

Human influence on growing-period frosts like the early April 2021 in Central France

Robert Vautard1, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh2,, Rémy Bonnet1, Sihan Li3, Yoann Robin4, Sarah Kew2, Sjoukje Philip2, Jean-Michel Soubeyroux4, Brigitte Dubuisson4, Nicolas Viovy5, Markus Reichstein6, Friederike Otto7, and Iñaki Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri8 Robert Vautard et al.
  • 1Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université de Versailles - Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France
  • 2Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, de Bilt, Netherlands
  • 3School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
  • 4Météo-France, Toulouse, France
  • 5Laboratoire des Science du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA, CNRS, Université de Versailles - Saint Quentin en Yvelines, IPSL, France
  • 6Department of Biogeochemical Integration, Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07701 Jena, Germany
  • 7Grantham Institute, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
  • 8INRAE, US AgroClim, 84914, Avignon, France
  • deceased, 12 October 2021

Abstract. In early April 2021 several days of harsh frost affected central Europe. This led to very severe damages in grapevine and fruit trees in France, in regions where young leaves had already unfolded due to unusually warm temperatures in the preceding month (march 2021. We analysed with observations and 172 climate model simulations how human-induced climate change affected this event over central France, where many vineyards are located. We found that, without human-caused climate change, such temperatures in April or later in spring would have been even lower by 1.2 °C [0.75 °C;1.7 °C]. However, climate change also caused an earlier occurrence of bud burst, that we characterized in this study by a growing-degree-day index value. This shift leaves young leaves exposed to more winter-like conditions with lower minimum temperatures and longer nights, an effect that over-compensates the warming effect. Extreme cold temperatures occurring after the start of the growing season such as those of April 2021 are now 2 °C colder [0.5 °C to 3.3 °C] than in pre-industrial conditions, according to observations. This observed intensification of growing-period frosts is attributable, at least in part, to human-caused climate change with each of 5 climate model ensembles used here simulating a cooling of growing-period annual temperature minima of 0.41 °C [0.22 °C to 0.60 °C] since pre-industrial conditions. The 2021 growing-period frost event has become 50 % more likely [10 %–110 %]. Models accurately simulate the observed warming in extreme lowest spring temperatures, but underestimate the observed trends in growing-period frost intensities, a fact that remains yet to be explained. Model ensembles all simulate a further intensification of yearly minimum temperatures occurring in the growing period for future decades, and a significant probability increase for such events of about 30 % [20 %–40 %] in a climate with global warming of 2 °C.

Robert Vautard et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-41', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-41', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 May 2022

Robert Vautard et al.

Robert Vautard et al.

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Short summary
A depp frost occurred in early April 2021, inducing severe damages in grapevine and fruit trees in France. We found that such extreme frosts occurring after the start of the growing season such as those of April 2021 are currently about 2 °C colder [0.5 °C to 3.3 °C] in observations than in pre-industrial climate. This observed intensification of growing-period frosts is attributable, at least in part, to human-caused climate change, making the 2021 event 50 % more likely [10 %–110 %].
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