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How Does a Regional Climate Model Modify the Projected Climate Change Signal of the Driving GCM: A Study over Different CORDEX Regions Using REMO

Author(s): Claas Teichmann | Bastian Eggert | Alberto Elizalde | Andreas Haensler | Daniela Jacob | Pankaj Kumar | Christopher Moseley | Susanne Pfeifer | Diana Rechid | Armelle Reca Remedio | Hinnerk Ries | Juliane Petersen | Swantje Preuschmann | Thomas Raub | Fahad Saeed | Kevin Sieck | Torsten Weber

Journal: Atmosphere
ISSN 2073-4433

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 214;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: regional climate simulations | dynamical downscaling | REMO | MPI-ESM | CORDEX | Köppen-Trewartha climate classification | RCP

Global and regional climate model simulations are frequently used for regional climate change assessments and in climate impact modeling studies. To reflect the inherent and methodological uncertainties in climate modeling, the assessment of regional climate change requires ensemble simulations from different global and regional climate model combinations. To interpret the spread of simulated results, it is useful to understand how the climate change signal is modified in the GCM-RCM modelmodelgeneral circulation model-regional climate model (GCM-RCM) chain. This kind of information can also be useful for impact modelers; for the process of experiment design and when interpreting model results. In this study, we investigate how the simulated historical and future climate of the Max-Planck-Institute earth system model (MPI-ESM) is modified by dynamic downscaling with the regional model REMO in different world regions. The historical climate simulations for 1950–2005 are driven by observed anthropogenic forcing. The climate projections are driven by projected anthropogenic forcing according to different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The global simulations are downscaled with REMO over the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) domains Africa, Europe, South America and West Asia from 2006–2100. This unique set of simulations allows for climate type specific analysis across multiple world regions and for multi-scenarios. We used a classification of climate types by Köppen-Trewartha to define evaluation regions with certain climate conditions. A systematic comparison of near-surface temperature and precipitation simulated by the regional and the global model is done. In general, the historical time period is well represented by the GCM and the RCM. Some different biases occur in the RCM compared to the GCM as in the Amazon Basin, northern Africa and the West Asian domain. Both models project similar warming, although somewhat less so by the RCM for certain regions and climate types. A common feature in regions of tropical climate types is that REMO shows dryer climate conditions than forMax Planck Institute for Meteorology-Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) for RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, leading to an opposing sign in the climate change signal. With an increase in radiative forcing from RCP 2.6 to RCP 8.5 and towards the end of the 21st century, some of the detected differences between GCM and RCM are more pronounced.
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