Submitted as: model experiment description paper
01 Mar 2023
Submitted as: model experiment description paper |  | 01 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Continental-scale bias-corrected climate and hydrological projections for Australia

Justin Peter, Elisabeth Vogel, Wendy Sharples, Ulrike Bende-Michl, Louise Wilson, Pandora Hope, Andrew Dowdy, Greg Kociuba, Sri Srikanthan, Vi Co Duong, Jake Roussis, Vjekoslav Matic, Zaved Khan, Alison Oke, Margot Turner, Stuart Baron-Hay, Fiona Johnson, Raj Mehrotra, Ashish Sharma, Marcus Thatcher, Ali Azarvinand, Steven Thomas, Ghyslaine Boschat, Chantal Donnelly, and Robert Argent

Abstract. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has developed a national hydrological projections (NHP) service for Australia. With the focus on hydrological change assessment, the NHP service aims at being complementary to climate projections work carried out by many federal and state governments, universities, and other organisations across Australia. The projections comprise an ensemble of application-ready bias-corrected climate model data and derived hydrological projections at daily temporal and 0.05° × 0.05° spatial resolution for the period 1960–2099 and two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The spatial resolution of the projections matches that of gridded historical reference data used to perform the bias correction and the Bureau's operational gridded hydrological model. Three bias correction techniques were applied to four CMIP5 global climate models (GCMs) and one to output from a regional climate model forced by the same four GCMs, resulting in a 16-member ensemble of bias-corrected GCM data for each emission scenario. The bias correction was applied to fields of precipitation, minimum and maximum temperature, downwelling shortwave radiation and surface winds. These variables are required inputs to the Bureau's landscape water balance hydrological model (AWRA-L) which was forced using the bias-corrected GCM and RCM data to produce a 16-member ensemble of hydrological output. The hydrological output variables include root-zone soil moisture (moisture in the top 1 m soil layer), potential evapotranspiration and runoff. Here we present an overview of the production of the hydrological projections, including GCM selection, bias correction methods and their evaluation, technical aspects of their implementation and examples of analysis performed to construct the NHP service. The data are publicly available on the National Computing Infrastructure ( and a user interface is accessible at

Justin Peter et al.

Status: open (until 27 Apr 2023)

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  • CC1: 'Comment on gmd-2023-7', Belinda Medlyn, 06 Mar 2023 reply

Justin Peter et al.

Justin Peter et al.


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Short summary
We detail the production of data sets and communication to end users of high resolution projections of rainfall, runoff and soil moisture for the entire Australian continent. This is important as previous projections for Australia were for small regions and used differing techniques for their projections, making comparisons difficult across Australia's varied climate zones. The data will be beneficial for research purposes and to aid adaptation to climate change.