EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

False Spring over Europe: risk and uncertainties

Raul Zurita-Milla1, Rens Vermeltfoort2, Serkan Girgin1, and Emma Izquierdo-Verdiguier3
Raul Zurita-Milla et al.
  • 1Faculty ITC, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands (
  • 2Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 3Institute of Geomatics, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

Understanding the impact of the climate crisis on our planet, and hence, on human and natural life, is a pressing but challenging scientific endeavor. Phenological studies help to build such an understanding by analyzing changes in the timing of biological events. Such changes are, in turn, linked to changes in the likelihood of experiencing false springs. Here we examine the risk and uncertainty of false springs over Europe using the extended spring indices models and the E-OBS weather dataset (1950-onwards). False spring uncertainty is evaluated using the full ensemble of 100 daily weather realizations that accompany the E-OBS dataset. Smart computing is used to handle this relatively large amount of gridded data. Our results show that changes in false spring risk are heterogeneous in space, with increasing risks mostly found in the mid-latitudes and decreasing risks mostly found at high and low latitudes. From 1950 until 1979, there was a substantial increase in false spring risk, whereas the change in false spring risk from 1980 onwards is negligible. Our results also show that false spring uncertainty is highest in western Europe. These results highlight the importance of considering temperature uncertainty in phenological modeling, especially when examining the risk of false springs.


How to cite: Zurita-Milla, R., Vermeltfoort, R., Girgin, S., and Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E.: False Spring over Europe: risk and uncertainties, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10298,, 2021.


Display file

Comments on the display

to access the discussion