Can correcting feature location in simulated mean climate improve agreement on projected changes?
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union
This is the final version of the article. Available from the American Geophysical Union via the DOI in this record.
To the extent that deficiencies in GCM simulations of precipitation are due to persistent errors of location and timing, correcting the spatial and seasonal distribution of features would provide a physically based improvement in inter-model agreement on future changes. We use a tool for the analysis of medical images to warp the precipitation climatologies of 14 General Circulation Models (GCMs) closer to a reanalysis of observations, rather than adjusting intensities locally as in conventional bias correction techniques. These warps are then applied to the same GCMs' simulated changes in mean climate under a CO2 quadrupling experiment. We find that the warping process not only makes GCMs' historical climatologies more closely resemble reanalysis but also reduces the disagreement between the models' response to this external forcing. Developing a tool that is tailored for the specific requirements of climate fields may provide further improvement, particularly in combination with local bias correction techniques. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
We acknowledge the World Climate Research Program’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups (Table 1) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and leads development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. We would also like to thank Gill Martin and Rob Chadwick for invaluable advice on HadGEM2. AALL, WJI, MJ, CH, and FHL were supported by NERC under contract NE/I00680X/1 (HYDRA). WJI also received support from the Joint DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Program (GA01101), and MRA from the NOAA/DoE IDAG project.
Geophysical Research Letters, 2013, Vol. 40, pp. 354 - 358