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Climate change projections of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP)
Climatic Change
  • L. O. Mearns, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • S. Sain, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • L. R. Leung, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • M. S. Bukovsky, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • S. McGinnis, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • S. Biner, Ouranos
  • D. Caya, Ouranos
  • R. W. Arritt, Iowa State University
  • W. Gutowski, Iowa State University
  • Eugene S. Takle, Iowa State University
  • M. Snyder, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • R. G. Jones, Hadley Center
  • A. M. B. Nunes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • S. Tucker, Hadley Center
  • D. Herzmann, Iowa State University
  • L. McDaniel, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • L. Sloan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Document Type
Article
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
10-1-2013
DOI
10.1007/s10584-013-0831-3
Abstract
We investigate major results of the NARCCAP multiple regional climate model (RCM) experiments driven by multiple global climate models (GCMs) regarding climate change for seasonal temperature and precipitation over North America. We focus on two major questions: How do the RCM simulated climate changes differ from those of the parent GCMs and thus affect our perception of climate change over North America, and how important are the relative contributions of RCMs and GCMs to the uncertainty (variance explained) for different seasons and variables? The RCMs tend to produce stronger climate changes for precipitation: larger increases in the northern part of the domain in winter and greater decreases across a swath of the central part in summer, compared to the four GCMs driving the regional models as well as to the full set of CMIP3 GCM results. We pose some possible process-level mechanisms for the difference in intensity of change, particularly for summer. Detailed process-level studies will be necessary to establish mechanisms and credibility of these results. The GCMs explain more variance for winter temperature and the RCMs for summer temperature. The same is true for precipitation patterns. Thus, we recommend that future RCM-GCM experiments over this region include a balanced number of GCMs and RCMs.
Comments

This article is from Climatic Change 120 (2013): 965–975, doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0831-3. Posted with permission.

Rights
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited
Copyright Owner
The authors
Language
en
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
L. O. Mearns, S. Sain, L. R. Leung, M. S. Bukovsky, et al.. "Climate change projections of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP)" Climatic Change Vol. 120 Iss. 4 (2013) p. 965 - 975
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/william-gutowski/44/