Climate data and scenarios: synthesis of recent observation and modelling results, chapter 3.4.1

3.4.1 Canadian regional climate model

A new regional climate model, CanRCM4, has been developed based on the ‘physics’ used in the Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2). This model has been used to produce downscaled climate information at 50 km and 25 km resolution for domains covering North America, the Arctic, Africa, and Europe as part of an international downscaling effort. A wide array of daily and monthly output from this model is available.

Figure 13 compares precipitation simulated by CanRCM4 (at 25 km resolution) to that simulated by the Canadian global model, CanESM2. The spatial detail provided by dynamical downscaling is readily apparent.

Figure 13

Figure 13 - Comparison of regional climate model (CanRCM4, left) with global climate model (CanESM2, right) simulation of precipitation for the RCP8.5 forcing scenario. Upper row shows results for December-February, lower row shows results for June-August. The results show a change in precipitation as the difference between the 2096-2100 and the 2006-2010 averages. The spatial detail afforded by the high-resolution (25 km) regional model may be useful for many applications.

Long description of Figure 13

This figure consists of four maps of simulated precipitation over North America. All the results are shown for the simulations driven by the RCP8.5 forcing scenario, and are the differences between the 2096-2100 and the 2006-2010 averages. The upper row represents winter (December, January and February) values, while the lower row shows summer (June, July, and August) values. The left images show the regional climate model (CanRCM4) results which present the contour lines in much finer detail than the right images of the coarser global climate model (CanESM2). The upper row shows more precipitation in the western United States and B.C. and in the mid-west through the Maritimes. The rest of Canada and most of the United States show little change in precipitation. The summer maps show an increase in precipitation over the territories, the Maritimes and Quebec, the Eastern Seaboard and the southern states of the United States. There is a decrease in precipitation over B.C. and Alberta.

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