Main content area

Does the model regional bias affect the projected regional climate change? An analysis of global model projections

Giorgi, Filippo, Coppola, Erika
Climatic change 2010 v.100 no.3-4 pp. 787-795
climate, climate change, climate models, greenhouse gas emissions, temperature
An analysis is presented of the dependence of the regional temperature and precipitation change signal on systematic regional biases in global climate change projections. The CMIP3 multi-model ensemble is analyzed over 26 land regions and for the A1B greenhouse gas emission scenario. For temperature, the model regional bias has a negligible effect on the projected regional change. For precipitation, a significant correlation between change and bias is found in about 30% of the seasonal/regional cases analyzed, covering a wide range of different climate regimes. For these cases, a performance-based selection of models in producing climate change scenarios can affect the resulting change estimate, and it is noted that a minimum of four to five models is needed to obtain robust precipitation change estimates. In a number of cases, models with largely different precipitation biases can still produce changes of consistent sign. Overall, it is assessed that in the present generation of models the regional bias does not appear to be a dominant factor in determining the simulated regional change in the majority of cases.