Introduction to special section: Regional Climate Modeling Revisited


  • Filippo Giorgi,

  • Linda O. Mearns


This paper provides an introduction to the special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research on “New Developments and Applications With the NCAR Regional Climate Model (RegCM).” In the first part of the paper we revisit and discuss outstanding issues in regional climate modeling in view of the progress achieved in this area of research during the last decade. We discuss issues of simulation length, spin-up, model physics, domain and resolution, lateral boundary conditions, multiple and two way nesting, and variable resolution approaches. In the second part we introduce the papers included in this issue. Among the primary model developments that occurred in the last few years are inclusions of the radiative transfer package and cumulus convection scheme from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) global model CCM3, a simplified explicit moisture scheme including direct interaction with cloud radiation, testing of a variable resolution model configuration, improvements in the coupled lake model, and interactive coupling with radiatively active atmospheric aerosols. The papers in the issue illustrate a wide range of applications over different regions, such as the United States, East Asia, central Asia, eastern Africa. The main model limitations and areas in need of improvement are indicated.