92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
A Regional Climate Model Evaluation System: Facilitating the Use of Contemporary Satellite and Other Observations for Evaluating Regional Climate Model Fidelity
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Duane Edward Waliser, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and J. Kim, C. Mattman, C. Goodale, A. Hart, P. Zimdars, and P. Lean

Evaluation of climate models against observations is essential for assessing the impact of climate variations and change on regionally important sectors as well as for climate model improvements. Regional climate models are of a particular concern because they provide the means to obtain higher resolution climate data needed for the climate impact assessments by downscaling global climate model projections such as those contributing to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIPs) that form the basis of the IPCC Assessment Reports, in physically- and dynamically consistent ways. Evaluation of regional climate models has been suffering from the lack of reliable fine-resolution data and formal tools. Recent satellite observations are particularly useful as they provide a wealth of information on many different aspects of the climate system, but due to their large volume and the difficulties associated with accessing and using the data, these datasets have been generally underutilized in model evaluation studies. Recognizing this problem, NASA JPL and UCLA are developing the Regional Climate Model Evaluation System (RCMES) to help make satellite observations, in conjunction with in-situ, assimilated, and reanalysis datasets, more readily accessible to the regional climate modeling community. The system includes a central database (Regional Climate Model Evaluation Database: RCMED) to store multiple datasets in a common format and codes for calculating predefined statistical metrics to assess model performance (Regional Climate Model Evaluation Tool: RCMET). This allows the time taken to compare model simulations with satellite observations to be reduced from weeks to days. Early results from the use this new model evaluation system for evaluating multi-model regional climate simulations from the CORDEX-Africa project will be presented.

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