Regional climate downscaling (RCD) techniques, including both dynamical and statistical approaches, are being increasingly used to provide higher-resolution climate information than is available directly from contemporary global climate models. The techniques available, their applications, and the community using them are broad and varied, and it is a growing area. It is important however that these techniques, and the results they produce, be applied appropriately and that their strengths and weaknesses are understood. This requires a better evaluation and quantification of the performance of the different techniques for application to specific problems. Building on experience gained in the global modelling community, a coordinated, international effort to objectively assess and intercompare various RCD techniques will provide a means to evaluate their performance, to illustrate benefits and shortcomings of different approaches, and to provide a more solid scientific basis for impact assessments and other uses of downscaled climate information.
The WCRP views regional downscaling as both an important research topic and an opportunity to engage a broader community of climate scientists in its activities. The Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) has served as a catalyst to achieve this goal.
As demonstrated at the second International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2013 held on 4-7 November in Brussels, Belgium, and co-sponsored by WCRP, the European Commission and IPCC, the CORDEX concept had gained maturity and was showing strong buy-in from the science community and VIA practitioners. To meet stakeholders’ expectations the conference outcomes were followed-up to improve the experimental framework so as to improve the CORDEX framework.
At the third International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2016 held on 17-20 May in Stockholm, Sweden, and co-sponsored by WCRP, SMHI, Bolin Centre, FORMAS, ECRA, ESA, EUMETSAT, and APN, it was shown that CORDEX has contributed vastly to the development and production of regional climate data and information.