Weather and Climate Systems

Quantifying Uncertainties in Global and North American Regional Climate Change Projections using a Multi-Thousand Member Perturbed Physics Global Climate Model Ensemble

Derek Rosendahl

OU School of Meteorology

16 October 2013, 1:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Information on the uncertainties in projections of future climate change from global climate models (GCM’s) is vital for their effective use across a wide range of applications, including their increasing role in driving regionally downscaled models for higher resolution output useful to local impacts studies (e.g., hydrologic, ecosystems, agricultural). To better estimate GCM uncertainties, a multi-thousand member perturbed-physics ensemble (PPE) of climate simulations was assessed to quantify uncertainties in future climate change projections for the globe and North American region. The simulations were generated through the distributed computing project (CPDN), a joint effort between the UK Met Office Hadley Centre and Oxford University, where thousands of simulations were run on PCs across the globe, each running a different version of the Hadley Centre-based HadCM3L coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM with variations to their model physics parameters.

Results will be presented from analyses of monthly mean temperature and precipitation rate for the globe and five North American regions from control simulations (i.e., constant annual but seasonally varying radiative forcing) and transient simulations (i.e., simulations including historic forcings and future emissions scenarios) from 1941-2080. These results will be compared to observational data over the historic period as well as to results from other global climate model ensembles from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) and recently released Phase 5 (CMIP5) found in the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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