Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-207
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-207

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 06 Aug 2021

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 06 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Added value of the EURO-CORDEX high-resolution downscaling over the Iberian Peninsula revisited. Part I: Precipitation

João António Martins Careto1, Pedro Miguel Matos Soares1, Rita Margarida Cardoso1, Sixto Herrera2, and José Manuel Guttiérrez3 João António Martins Careto et al.
  • 1Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016, Portugal
  • 2Meteorology Group. Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. Universidad de Cantabria. Santander, Spain
  • 3Meteorology Group. Instituto de Física de Cantabria, CSIC-University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain

Abstract. Over the years higher resolution Regional Climate Model simulations have emerged owing to the large increase in computational resources. The 12 Km resolution from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment for the European domain (EURO-CORDEX) is a reference, which includes a larger multi-model ensemble at a continental scale while spanning at least a 130-year period. These simulations are computationally demanding but not always revealing added value. In this study, a recently developed regular gridded dataset (Iberia0.1) and a new metric for added value quantification, the distribution added value (DAV), are used to assess the precipitation of all available EURO-CORDEX Hindcast (1989–2008) and Historical (1971–2005) simulations. This approach enables a direct assessment between the higher resolution regional model runs against their forcing Global model or ERA-Interim reanalysis, with respect to their PDFs. This assessment is performed for the Iberian Peninsula. Overall, important gains are found for most cases, particularly in precipitation extremes. Most Hindcast models reveal gains above 15 %, namely for wintertime, while for precipitation extremes values above 20 % are reached for the summer and autumn. As for the Historical models, although most pairs display gains, regional models forced by 2 GCMs reveal losses, sometimes around −5 % or stronger, for the entire year. However, the spatialization of the DAV is clear in terms of added value for precipitation, particularly precipitation extremes with significant gains, above 100 %.

João António Martins Careto et al.

Status: open (until 08 Oct 2021)

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João António Martins Careto et al.

João António Martins Careto et al.

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Short summary
This work focuses on the added value of high-resolution models, relative to their forcing simulations, by using a recent observational gridded dataset covering the entire Iberian Peninsula. The availability of such datasets with a close spatial resolution to those of the regional climate models encouraged this study. For the precipitation, most models reveal added value. The gains are even more evident for precipitation extremes, which lower resolutions have more difficulty in representing.