Title: Changes of heating and cooling degree-days in Europe from 1981 to 2100
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY vol. 38 no. S1 p. e191-e208
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC104149
ISSN: 0899-8418
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.5362/abstract;jsessionid=E67D853F63CD5D3C08893A063933FC8B.f03t02
DOI: 10.1002/joc.5362
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: During the last decades, the effects of global warming have become apparent also in Europe, causing relevant impacts in many sectors. Under projected future global warming, such a tendency can be expected to persist until the end of this century and beyond. Identifying which climate-related impacts are likely to increase, and by how much, is an important element of any effective strategy for managing future climate risks. This study investigates whether energy demand for cooling and heating buildings can be expected to increase or decrease under climate change. Two indicators of weather-related energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings are considered: heating degree-days (HDD) and cooling degree-days (CDD). The evolution of these indicators has been analysed based on 11 high-resolution bias-adjusted EURO-CORDEX simulations for two emission representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Both indicators have been validated over the period 1981–2010 using an independent data set that contains more than 4000 station data, showing very high correlation over most of Europe. Trends ofHDDand CDDfrom 1981 to 2100, together with their uncertainties, are analysed. For both RCPs, all simulations project a significant decrease for HDD, especially over Scandinavia and European Russia, and an increase of CDD which peaks over the Mediterranean region and the Balkans. Overall, degree-day trends do not show remarkable differences if population weighting is applied. If a constant population scenario is considered, the decrease in HDD will outbalance the increase in CDD in the 21st century over most of Europe. Thus the related energy demand (expressed as Energy Degree-days, EDD) is expected to decrease. If, however, population projections over the 21st century are included in the calculations, it is shown that despite the persisting warming, EDD will increase over northern Europe, the Baltic countries, Great Britain, Ireland, Benelux, the Alps, Spain, and Cyprus, resulting in an overall increase in EDD over Europe.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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