Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-60
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-60

Submitted as: model description paper 11 Jun 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 11 Jun 2021

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

TopoCLIM: Rapid topography-based downscaling of regional climate model output in complex terrain v.1.0

Joel Fiddes1, Kristoffer Aalstad2, and Michael Lehning1,3 Joel Fiddes et al.
  • 1WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 3CRYOS, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. This study describes and evaluates a new downscaling scheme that specifically addresses the need for hillslope scale atmospheric forcing time-series for modeling the local impact of regional climate change projections on the land surface in complex terrain. The method has a global scope and is able to generate the full suite of model forcing variables required for hydrological and land surface modeling at hourly timesteps. It achieves this by utilising the previously published TopoSCALE scheme (Fiddes et al. 2014) to generate a synthetic observation of current climate at hillslope scale while accounting for a broad range of surface-atmosphere interactions. These synthetic observations are then used to debias (downscale) CORDEX climate variables using the quantile mapping method. A further temporal disaggregation step produces sub-daily fields. This approach has the advantages of other empirical-statistical methods, namely speed of use while avoiding the need for ground data, which is often limited. It is therefore a suitable method for a wide range of remote regions where ground data is absent, incomplete, or not of sufficient length. The approach is evaluated using a network of high elevation stations across the Swiss Alps and a test application of modelling climate change impacts on Alpine snow cover is given.

Joel Fiddes et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-60', Richard L.H. Essery, 09 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-60', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Aug 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2021-60', Anonymous Referee #3, 23 Aug 2021

Joel Fiddes et al.

Model code and software

TopoCLIM v1.0 Joel Fiddes https://www.doi.org/10.16904/envidat.229

Joel Fiddes et al.

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Short summary
This study describes and evaluates a new downscaling scheme that addresses the need for hillslope scale atmospheric forcing time-series for modeling the local impact of regional climate change on the land surface in Mountain areas. The method has a global scope and is able to generate all model forcing variables required for hydrological and land surface modeling. This is important as impact models require high-resolution forcings as generated here to produce meaningful results.