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

Abstract

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. Lastly, we conclude that while high resolution is vital for accurately simulating extreme precipitation, considerable biases remain at the highest available model resolutions.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. ETH Zürich, Zürich (Switzerland). Inst. for Atmospheric and Climate Science
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1565100
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; geology; atmospheric model; extreme precipitation; high resolution; GCM

Citation Formats

Kopparla, Pushkar, Fischer, Erich M., Hannay, Cécile, and Knutti, Reto. Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1002/2013gl057866.
Kopparla, Pushkar, Fischer, Erich M., Hannay, Cécile, & Knutti, Reto. Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model. United States. doi:10.1002/2013gl057866.
Kopparla, Pushkar, Fischer, Erich M., Hannay, Cécile, and Knutti, Reto. Tue . "Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model". United States. doi:10.1002/2013gl057866. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565100.
@article{osti_1565100,
title = {Improved simulation of extreme precipitation in a high-resolution atmosphere model},
author = {Kopparla, Pushkar and Fischer, Erich M. and Hannay, Cécile and Knutti, Reto},
abstractNote = {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. Lastly, we conclude that while high resolution is vital for accurately simulating extreme precipitation, considerable biases remain at the highest available model resolutions.},
doi = {10.1002/2013gl057866},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 21,
volume = 40,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {10}
}

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