Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-84
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-84
Submitted as: methods for assessment of models
 | 
14 May 2024
Submitted as: methods for assessment of models |  | 14 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Selecting CMIP6 GCMs for CORDEX Dynamical Downscaling over Southeast Asia Using a Standardised Benchmarking Framework

Phuong Loan Nguyen, Lisa V. Alexander, Marcus J. Thatcher, Son C. H. Truong, Rachael N. Isphording, and John L. McGregor

Abstract. Downscaling global climate models (GCMs) provides crucial, high-resolution data needed for informed decision-making at regional scales. However, there is no uniform approach to select the most suitable GCMs. Over Southeast Asia (SEA), observations are sparse and have large uncertainties, complicating GCM selection especially for rainfall. To guide this selection, we apply a standardised benchmarking framework to select CMIP6 GCMs for dynamical downscaling over SEA, addressing current observational limitations. This framework identifies fit-for-purpose models through a two-step process: (a) selecting models that meet minimum performance requirements in simulating the fundamental characteristics of rainfall (e.g., bias, spatial pattern, annual cycle, and trend) and (b) selecting models from (a) to further assess whether key precipitation drivers (monsoon) and teleconnections from modes of variability are captured [El Niño-Southern-Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)]. GCMs generally exhibit wet biases, particularly over the complex terrain of the Maritime Continent. Evaluations from the first step identify 19 out of 32 GCMs that meet our minimum performance expectations in simulating rainfall. These models also consistently capture atmospheric circulations and teleconnections with modes of variability over the region but overestimate their strength. Ultimately, we identify eight GCMs meeting our performance expectations. There are obvious, high-performing GCMs from allied modelling groups, highlighting the dependency of the subset of models identified from the framework. Therefore, further tests on model independence, data availability, and future climate change spread are conducted, resulting in a final sub-set of two independent models that align with our a priori expectations for downscaling over CORDEX-SEA.

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Phuong Loan Nguyen, Lisa V. Alexander, Marcus J. Thatcher, Son C. H. Truong, Rachael N. Isphording, and John L. McGregor

Status: open (until 09 Jul 2024)

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Phuong Loan Nguyen, Lisa V. Alexander, Marcus J. Thatcher, Son C. H. Truong, Rachael N. Isphording, and John L. McGregor
Phuong Loan Nguyen, Lisa V. Alexander, Marcus J. Thatcher, Son C. H. Truong, Rachael N. Isphording, and John L. McGregor

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Short summary
We apply a comprehensive approach to select a subset of CMIP6 that is suitable for dynamical downscaling over Southeast Asia by considering model performance, model independence, data availability, and future climate change spread. The standardised benchmarking framework is applied to identify a subset of models through two stages of assessment: statistical-based and process-based metrics. We finalize a sub-set of two independent models for dynamical downscaling over Southeast Asia.