July 9, 2018
Changes in Spatiotemporal Precipitation Patterns in Changing Climate Conditions & Diagnosing added value of convection-permitting regional models using precipitation event identification and tracking
장원 교수님 (University of Cincinnati)
2018년 7월 11일 (수) 15:00
Changes in Spatiotemporal Precipitation Patterns in Changing Climate Conditions
Climate models robustly imply that some significant change in precipitation patterns will occur. Models consistently project that the intensity of individual precipitation events increases by approximately 6%–7% K−1, following the increase in atmospheric water content, but that total precipitation increases by a lesser amount (1%–2% K−1 in the global average in transient runs). Some other aspect of precipitation events must then change to compensate for this difference. The authors develop a new methodology for identifying individual rainstorms and studying their physical characteristics—including starting location, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and trajectory—that allows identifying that compensating mechanism. This technique is applied to precipitation over the contiguous United States from both radar-based data products and high-resolution model runs simulating 80 years of business-as-usual warming. In the model study the dominant compensating mechanism is a reduction of storm size. In summer, rainstorms become more intense but smaller; in winter, rainstorm shrinkage still dominates, but storms also become less numerous and shorter duration. These results imply that flood impacts from climate change will be less severe than would be expected from changes in precipitation intensity alone. However, these projected changes are smaller than model–observation biases, implying that the best means of incorporating them into impact assessments is via “data-driven simulations” that apply model-projected changes to observational data. The authors therefore develop a simulation algorithm that statistically describes model changes in precipitation characteristics and adjusts data accordingly, and they show that, especially for summertime precipitation, it outperforms simulation approaches that do not include spatial information.
Diagnosing added value of convection-permitting regional models using precipitation event identification and tracking
Dynamical downscaling with high-resolution regional climate models may offer the possibility of realistically reproducing precipitation and weather events in climate simulations. As resolutions fall to order kilometers, the use of explicit rather than parametrized convection may offer even greater fidelity. However, these increased model resolutions both allow and require increasingly complex diagnostics for evaluating model fidelity. In this study we use a suite of dynamically downscaled simulations of the summertime U.S. (WRF driven by NCEP) with systematic variations in parameters and treatment of convection as a test case for evaluation of model precipitation. In particular, we use a novel rainstorm identification and tracking algorithm that allocates essentially all rainfall to individual precipitation events (Chang et al. 2016). This approach allows multiple insights, including that, at least in these runs, model wet bias is driven by excessive areal extent of precipitating events. Biases are time-dependent, producing excessive diurnal cycle amplitude. We show that this effect is produced not by new production of events but by excessive enlargement of long-lived precipitation events during daytime, and that in the domain average, precipitation biases appear best represented as additive offsets. Of all model configurations evaluated, convection-permitting simulations most consistently reduced biases in precipitation event characteristics.