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WP3 - Arctic Climate Predictions and Regional Downscaling

Leader Markus Meier (SMHI); Co-leader Torben Koenigk (SMHI).

Participants: SAI; SMHI;DMI; IC: IORAS; NZC.

Potential future climate change has been the focus of numerous studies and projects such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). However, such approaches often do not provide a sufficiently detailed regional focus. Current global models in standard resolution are not able to realistically reproduce weather extremes or small-scale oceanic processes needed for the simulation of a realistic regional ocean temperature and sea-ice distribution. Regional climate models (RCMs), have been important tools for supporting studies addressing the regional impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems, societies, governance, and for large utility planning. They can better reproduce Arctic climate change when forced by re-analysis. Although they can provide more detailed information when forced by the global GCMs under future scenarios, large uncertainties exist due to the future lateral boundary conditions. Furthermore, in spite of their high resolution, regional models still have deficiencies in accurately transforming the large-scale information at their lateral boundaries into the regional model area. Thus, this WP will also test the use of high-resolution global models to predict local future climate change.