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[en] Regional climate models (RCMs) have been used to dynamically downscale global climate projections at high spatial and temporal resolution in order to analyse the atmospheric water cycle. In southern Africa, precipitation pattern were strongly affected by the moisture transport from the southeast Atlantic and southwest Indian Ocean and, consequently, by their sea surface temperatures (SSTs). However, global ocean models often have deficiencies in resolving regional to local scale ocean currents, e.g. in ocean areas offshore the South African continent. By downscaling global climate projections using RCMs, the biased SSTs from the global forcing data were introduced to the RCMs and affected the results of regional climate projections. In this work, the impact of the SST bias correction on precipitation, evaporation and moisture transport were analysed over southern Africa. For this analysis, several experiments were conducted with the regional climate model REMO using corrected and uncorrected SSTs. In these experiments, a global MPI-ESM-LR historical simulation was downscaled with the regional climate model REMO to a high spatial resolution of 50 × 50 km2 and of 25 × 25 km2 for southern Africa using a double-nesting method. The results showed a distinct impact of the corrected SST on the moisture transport, the meridional vertical circulation and on the precipitation pattern in southern Africa. Furthermore, it was found that the experiment with the corrected SST led to a reduction of the wet bias over southern Africa and to a better agreement with observations as without SST bias corrections.
[en] A new high-resolution regional climate change ensemble has been established for Europe within the World Climate Research Program Coordinated Regional Down-scaling Experiment (EURO-CORDEX) initiative. The first set of simulations with a horizontal resolution of 12.5 km was completed for the new emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 with more simulations expected to follow. The aim of this paper is to present this data set to the different communities active in regional climate modelling, impact assessment and adaptation. The EURO-CORDEX ensemble results have been compared to the SRES A1B simulation results achieved within the ENSEMBLES project. The large-scale patterns of changes in mean temperature and precipitation are similar in all three scenarios, but they differ in regional details, which can partly be related to the higher resolution in EURO-CORDEX. The results strengthen those obtained in ENSEMBLES, but need further investigations. The analysis of impact indices shows that for RCP8.5, there is a substantially larger change projected for temperature-based indices than for RCP4.5. The difference is less pronounced for precipitation-based indices. Two effects of the increased resolution can be regarded as an added value of regional climate simulations. Regional climate model simulations provide higher daily precipitation intensities, which are completely missing in the global climate model simulations, and they provide a significantly different climate change of daily precipitation intensities resulting in a smoother shift from weak to moderate and high intensities. (authors)
[en] In this paper, daily characteristics of the Central Africa rainfall are assessed using the regional model REMO in the framework of contributions to the CORDEX-Africa project. The model is used to dynamically downscale two global climate models (MPI-ESM-LR and EC-EARTH) for the present (1981–2005) and future (2041–2065, 2071–2095) climate under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5 emission scenarios. A substantial spatio-temporal variability of the daily precipitation characteristics is obtained, as well as varying inferences for individual indices. For the present days, both REMO’s runs capture reasonably well the mean seasonal rainfall, the frequency of wet days, the threshold of extreme rainfall, and the cumulative frequency of daily rainfall. The model better simulates the frequency of rainy days than their intensity. It is found that origins of model biases differ as a function of regions. Over the continent, boundary conditions tend to influence the spatial distribution of rainfall whereas over oceanic and coastal regions, REMO’s physics seems to dominate over the boundary forcing. The projected frequency of wet days shows a decrease along the twenty-first century over most part of the continent. Throughout the century, all scenarios of REMO decrease the rate of rainfall with increasing intensity, and which will be noticeable in the Sahelian region at late twenty-first century. Furthermore, the extreme event thresholds decrease over Sahelian regions and increase along the coastal regions.