Burger
Journalpaper

Assessing mean climate change signals in the global CORDEX-CORE ensemble

Abstract

The new Coordinated Output for Regional Evaluations (CORDEX-CORE) ensemble provides high-resolution, consistent regional climate change projections for the major inhabited areas of the world. It serves as a solid scientific basis for further research related to vulnerability, impact, adaptation and climate services in addition to existing CORDEX simulations. The aim of this study is to investigate and document the climate change information provided by the CORDEX-CORE simulation ensemble, as a part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) CORDEX community. An overview of the annual and monthly mean climate change information in selected regions in different CORDEX domains is presented for temperature and precipitation, providing the foundation for detailed follow-up studies and applications. Initially, two regional climate models (RCMs), REMO and RegCM were used to downscale global climate model output. The driving simulations by AR5 global climate models (AR5-GCMs) were selected to cover the spread of high, medium, and low equilibrium climate sensitivity at a global scale. The CORDEX-CORE ensemble has doubled the spatial resolution compared to the previously existing CORDEX simulations in most of the regions (25km (0.22∘) versus 50km (0.44∘)) leading to a potentially improved representation of, e.g., physical processes in the RCMs. The analysis focuses on changes in the IPCC physical climate reference regions. The results show a general reasonable representation of the spread of the temperature and precipitation climate change signals of the AR5-GCMs by the CORDEX-CORE simulations in the investigated regions in all CORDEX domains by mostly covering the AR5 interquartile range of climate change signals. The simulated CORDEX-CORE monthly climate change signals mostly follow the AR5-GCMs, although for specific regions they show a different change in the course of the year compared to the AR5-GCMs, especially for RCP8.5, which needs to be investigated further in region specific process studies.
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