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Department of Atmospheric Science

Seminar: Tues., Apr. 15, 3:10 pm, EN6085

Methods, Successes, and Pitfalls in Dynamical Downscaling
of GCM Simulations of Climate Change: Case studies from Mesoamerica and Asia

Robert Oglesby

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Mesoamerica and Asia are regions potentially at severe risk due to future climate change. This is especially true for the water resources required for agriculture, human consumption, and hydroelectric power generation. Yet global climate models cannot properly resolve surface climate in these regions, due to complex topography and local land surface effects. Precipitation in particular is poorly handled. To address this deficiency, a series of high-resolution (4-12 km) dynamical downscaling simulations of future climate change have been made for these regions. These include fairly short simulations encompassing a region-wide area, and much longer simulations focused on the smaller areas of individual countries. The WRF regional climate model is used, with large-scale forcing provided by global reanalyses or several different GCMs. The future climate changes include those due to global increases in greenhouse gasses (AGW), and those due to local land use effects, such as deforestation or changes in agricultural practices. Rather than presenting a specific set of results, the seminar will focus on how the downscaling is performed, with an assessment of strengths and weaknesses to this approach.

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