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Improved confidence in regional climate model simulations of precipitation evaluated using drought statistics from the ENSEMBLES models

Fox Maule, Cathrine; Thejll, Peter; Christensen, Jens H.; Svendsen, Synne H.; Hannaford, Jamie. 2013 Improved confidence in regional climate model simulations of precipitation evaluated using drought statistics from the ENSEMBLES models. Climate Dynamics, 40 (1-2). 155-173. 10.1007/s00382-012-1355-7

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Abstract/Summary

An ensemble of regional climate model simulations from the European framework project ENSEMBLES is compared with observations of low precipitation events across a number of European regions. We characterize precipitation deficits in terms of two drought indices, the Standardized Precipitation Index and the self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index. Models that robustly describe the observations for the period 1961–2000 in given regions are identified and an assessment of the overall performance of the ensemble is provided. The results show that in general, models capture the most severe drought events and that the ensemble mean model also performs well. Some regions that appear to be more problematic to simulate well are also identified. These are relatively small regions and have rather complex topographicalfeatures. The analysis suggests that assessment of future drought occurrence based on climate change experiments in general would appear to be robust. But due to the heterogeneous and often fine-scaled structure of drought occurrence, quantitative results should be used with great care, particularly in regions with complex terrain and limited information about past drought occurrence.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00382-012-1355-7
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.3 - Model, attribute and predict impacts of climate and land cover change on hydrological and freshwater systems
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.2 - Assessment of available water resources in a changing world ...
CEH Sections: Boorman
ISSN: 0930-7575
Additional Keywords: drought, ENSEMBLES, ERA40, SPI, sc-PDSI
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Hydrology
Date made live: 01 Feb 2013 12:23
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13141

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