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Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model

Kopparla, Pushkar and Fischer, Erich M. and Hannay, Cécile and Knutti, Reto (2013) Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (21). pp. 5803-5808. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2013GL057866.

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Climate models often underestimate the magnitude of extreme precipitation. We compare the performance of a high-resolution (∼0.25°) time-slice atmospheric simulation (1979–2005) of the Community Earth System Model 1.0 in representing daily extreme precipitation events against those of the same model at lower resolutions (∼1° and 2°). We find significant increases in the simulated levels of daily extreme precipitation over Europe, the United States, and Australia. In many cases the increase in high percentiles (>95th) of daily precipitation leads to better agreement with observational data sets. For lower percentiles, we find that increasing resolution does not significantly increase values of simulated precipitation. We argue that the reduced biases mainly result from the higher resolution models resolving more key physical processes controlling heavy precipitation. We conclude that while high resolution is vital for accurately simulating extreme precipitation, considerable biases remain at the highest available model resolutions.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Kopparla, Pushkar0000-0002-8951-3907
Hannay, Cécile0000-0001-6363-6151
Additional Information:© 2013 American Geophysical Union. Received 3 September 2013; revised 22 October 2013; accepted 23 October 2013; published 14 November 2013. We thank David Jones, Andrew King, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for providing the Australian Water Availability Project data. Computing resources for 1ı and 2ı simulations by the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Computing resources for 0.25ı were provided by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the Department of Energy. The Editor thanks two anonymous reviewers for their assistance in evaluating this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:atmospheric model; extreme precipitation; high resolution; GCM
Issue or Number:21
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140109-120944173
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Official Citation:Kopparla, P., E. M. Fischer, C. Hannay, and R. Knutti (2013), Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 5803-5808, doi:10.1002/2013GL057866
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43297
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jan 2014 18:13
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:35

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