Evaluation of CMIP5 retrospective simulations of temperature and precipitation in northeastern Argentina
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Evaluation of CMIP5 retrospective simulations of temperature and precipitation in northeastern Argentina

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  • Journal Title:
    International Journal of Climatology
  • Description:
    It is generally agreed that models that better simulate historical and current features of climate should also be the ones that more reliably simulate future climate. This article describes the ability of a selection of global climate models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to represent the historical and current mean climate and its variability over northeastern Argentina, a region that exhibits frequent extreme events. Two types of simulations are considered: Long-term simulations for 1901–2005 in which the models respond to climate forcing (e.g. changes in atmospheric composition and land use) and decadal simulations for 1961–2010 that are initialized from observed climate states. Monthly simulations of precipitation and temperature are statistically evaluated for individual models and their ensembles.

    Subsets of models that best represent the region's climate are further examined. First, models that have a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency of at least 0.8 are taken as a subset that best represents the observed temperature fields and the mean annual cycle. Their temperature time series are in phase with observations (r > 0.92), despite systematic errors that if desired can be corrected by statistical methods. Likewise, models that have a precipitation Pearson correlation coefficient of at least 0.6 are considered that best represent regional precipitation features. GCMs are able to reproduce the annual precipitation cycle, although they underestimate precipitation amounts during the austral warm season (September through April) and slightly overestimate the cold season rainfall amounts. The ensembles for the subsets of models achieve the best evaluation metrics, exceeding the performance of the overall ensembles as well as those of the individual models.

  • Source:
    Int. J. Climatol, 38: e1158-e1175
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    CC BY
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