Comparison of climate change scenarios generated from regional climate model experiments and statistical downscaling


  • L. O. Mearns,

  • I. Bogardi,

  • F. Giorgi,

  • I. Matyasovszky,

  • M. Palecki


We compare regional climate change scenarios (temperature and precipitation) over eastern Nebraska produced by a semiempirical statistical downscaling (SDS) technique and regional climate model (RegCM2) experiments, both using large scale information from the same coarse resolution general circulation model (GCM) control and 2 × CO2 simulations. The SDS method is based on the circulation pattern classification technique in combination with stochastic generation of daily time series of temperature and precipitation. It uses daily values of 700 mbar geopotential heights as the large-scale circulation variable. The regional climate model is driven by initial and lateral boundary conditions from the GCM. The RegCM2 exhibited greater spatial variability than the SDS method for change in both temperature and precipitation. The SDS method produced a seasonal cycle of temperature change with a much larger amplitude than that of the RegCM2 or the GCM. Daily variability of temperature mainly decreased for both downscaling methods and the GCM. Changes in mean daily precipitation varied between SDS and RegCM2. The RegCM2 simulated both increases and decreases in the probability of precipitation, while the SDS method produced only increases. We explore possible dynamical and physical reasons for the differences in the scenarios produced by the two methods and the GCM.