Regional-scale climate prediction from the GISS GCM

Bruce C. Hewitson, Robert George Crane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The complexity of the global climate system suggests that the only way in which we can develop a reasonable assessment of future climate change is through the use of general circulation models (GCMs) of the atmosphere and oceans. Current climate change experiments, however, are limited by the inability of the models to produce accurate simulations of the regional climate. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GSISS) 4° × 5° GCM is shown to simulate the present-day sea level pressure over the United States very accurately, but this paper also demonstrates large regional biases in the GISS simulations of present-day temperatures. An analysis of circulation-temperature relationships with observational data shows that accurate transfer functions can be derived between sea level pressure and temperature. When applied to the GCM circulation, these transfer functions result in a temperature distribution that matches the long term mean more accurately than does the model's actual temperature field. Applying these transfer functions to the 2 × CO2 circulation presents the possibility for an alternative approach to regional-scale climate change predictions that combines GCM simulations with empirically observed circulation-climate relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-267
Number of pages19
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume97
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

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General Circulation Models
climate prediction
general circulation model
climate
transfer function
prediction
climate change
sea level pressure
temperature
sea level
simulation
regional climate
global climate
oceans
atmosphere
ocean
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Palaeontology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The complexity of the global climate system suggests that the only way in which we can develop a reasonable assessment of future climate change is through the use of general circulation models (GCMs) of the atmosphere and oceans. Current climate change experiments, however, are limited by the inability of the models to produce accurate simulations of the regional climate. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GSISS) 4° × 5° GCM is shown to simulate the present-day sea level pressure over the United States very accurately, but this paper also demonstrates large regional biases in the GISS simulations of present-day temperatures. An analysis of circulation-temperature relationships with observational data shows that accurate transfer functions can be derived between sea level pressure and temperature. When applied to the GCM circulation, these transfer functions result in a temperature distribution that matches the long term mean more accurately than does the model's actual temperature field. Applying these transfer functions to the 2 × CO2 circulation presents the possibility for an alternative approach to regional-scale climate change predictions that combines GCM simulations with empirically observed circulation-climate relationships.",
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Regional-scale climate prediction from the GISS GCM. / Hewitson, Bruce C.; Crane, Robert George.

In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 97, No. 3, 01.01.1992, p. 249-267.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - The complexity of the global climate system suggests that the only way in which we can develop a reasonable assessment of future climate change is through the use of general circulation models (GCMs) of the atmosphere and oceans. Current climate change experiments, however, are limited by the inability of the models to produce accurate simulations of the regional climate. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GSISS) 4° × 5° GCM is shown to simulate the present-day sea level pressure over the United States very accurately, but this paper also demonstrates large regional biases in the GISS simulations of present-day temperatures. An analysis of circulation-temperature relationships with observational data shows that accurate transfer functions can be derived between sea level pressure and temperature. When applied to the GCM circulation, these transfer functions result in a temperature distribution that matches the long term mean more accurately than does the model's actual temperature field. Applying these transfer functions to the 2 × CO2 circulation presents the possibility for an alternative approach to regional-scale climate change predictions that combines GCM simulations with empirically observed circulation-climate relationships.

AB - The complexity of the global climate system suggests that the only way in which we can develop a reasonable assessment of future climate change is through the use of general circulation models (GCMs) of the atmosphere and oceans. Current climate change experiments, however, are limited by the inability of the models to produce accurate simulations of the regional climate. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GSISS) 4° × 5° GCM is shown to simulate the present-day sea level pressure over the United States very accurately, but this paper also demonstrates large regional biases in the GISS simulations of present-day temperatures. An analysis of circulation-temperature relationships with observational data shows that accurate transfer functions can be derived between sea level pressure and temperature. When applied to the GCM circulation, these transfer functions result in a temperature distribution that matches the long term mean more accurately than does the model's actual temperature field. Applying these transfer functions to the 2 × CO2 circulation presents the possibility for an alternative approach to regional-scale climate change predictions that combines GCM simulations with empirically observed circulation-climate relationships.

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