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Conditioning model output statistics of regional climate model precipitation on circulation patterns

Wetterhall, F., Pappenberger, F., He, Y., Freer, J. and Cloke, H. L. (2012) Conditioning model output statistics of regional climate model precipitation on circulation patterns. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 19. pp. 623-633. ISSN 1023-5809

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/npg-19-623-2012

Abstract/Summary

Dynamical downscaling of Global Climate Models (GCMs) through regional climate models (RCMs) potentially improves the usability of the output for hydrological impact studies. However, a further downscaling or interpolation of precipitation from RCMs is often needed to match the precipitation characteristics at the local scale. This study analysed three Model Output Statistics (MOS) techniques to adjust RCM precipitation; (1) a simple direct method (DM), (2) quantile-quantile mapping (QM) and (3) a distribution-based scaling (DBS) approach. The modelled precipitation was daily means from 16 RCMs driven by ERA40 reanalysis data over the 1961–2000 provided by the ENSEMBLES (ENSEMBLE-based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts) project over a small catchment located in the Midlands, UK. All methods were conditioned on the entire time series, separate months and using an objective classification of Lamb's weather types. The performance of the MOS techniques were assessed regarding temporal and spatial characteristics of the precipitation fields, as well as modelled runoff using the HBV rainfall-runoff model. The results indicate that the DBS conditioned on classification patterns performed better than the other methods, however an ensemble approach in terms of both climate models and downscaling methods is recommended to account for uncertainties in the MOS methods.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:32123
Publisher:European Geosciences Union

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