Two newly endorsed Flagship Pilot Studies – Africa and the TPE region!

The two latest additions for Africa and the TPE region were officially presented as endorsed at the ICRC-CORDEX 2019 in Beijing in October. With these two there are 9 endorsed CORDEX Flagship Pilot Studies.

Africa: Modelling the Southeast African regional Climate

Contact persons: Jonas Zucule jnzucule@gmail.com or Bernadino Nhantumbo b.nhantumbo@gmail.com

Southeastern Africa is a region with a population of ~270 million people who are strongly affected by the local climate. Hence, it is important to get a better understanding of the regional climate, how it has changed in the past, and how it is likely to change in the future. An important question is whether and how the rainfall over southeastern Africa responds to anthropogenic forcings as well as natural climate variability. Dominant atmospheric phenomena in this region include the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the tropical monsoon and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Furthermore, it is important to revise and update climate knowledge based on local climate scientists. There is already scientific literature on climate change studies for southern Africa, but work remains in evaluating the model projections and calibrating their output with in-situ observations. Southeastern Africa is experiencing a climate change where trends in mean precipitation may be due to changes in the occurrence of rainy days or rain intensity. It is important to understand the causes of these trends. Likewise, it is important to understand how the local temperature responds to changing large-scale conditions. Such questions can be explored through downscaling the southeast African regional climate from global climate models (GCMs) experiments in CORDEX – Africa. The research will involve analysis of local observations, reanalysis, historical and data from regional climate models (RCMs) and empirical-statistical downscaling (ESD) to study dependencies between large-scale conditions and local variability in the rain and temperature statistics. ESD and RCM simulations will be combined to provide reliable future projections, for instance, by using RCMs as pseudo-reality and the statistical models to emulate seasonally aggregated high-resolution RCM output for a large ensemble of multi-model ensembles (CMIP). Local observations will also be used in the model evaluation to assess the added value of regional downscaling for both ESD and RCMs. The proposed Flagship Pilot Study (FPS) is tailored to investigate the connections between changes and trends, and special attention will be on the rainy season(s) and its/their duration. Identified dependencies will be utilised for making reliable future projections (ESD). The proposed study will also enable an investigation into the importance of regional scale forcings (aerosols, land-use change, vegetation etc) for the southeast African region. The results will be presented as aggregated statistics for daily temperature and precipitation together with assessments of the models.

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Central Asia- East Asia: High resolution climate modelling with a focus on convection and associated precipitation
over the Third Pole region

Contact person: Deliang Chen deliang@gvc.gu.se

The Third Pole (TP) is the Tibetan Plateau and all the mountain ranges that surround it. It has the world’s largest store of ice and snow outside the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The TP plays a significant role in the global climate system and is highly sensitive to humaninduced climate change. More than 10 major rivers originate from the TP, and the dramatic changes in the cryosphere have a great impact on water cycle, ecosystem and society over the TP and the surrounding regions. Due to the complex topography and harsh environment, ground-based observations are scarce over the TP, making the study of regional climate and its impact on other systems such as water and ecosystem difficult. Horizontal resolution of prevailing global reanalysis datasets is generally coarser than 30 km, which is not sufficient to examine convection and other mesoscale systems over the TP. High-resolution regional downscaling is badly needed for understanding processes and improve projections. This project aims at enhancing our understanding of the regional characteristics of water cycle changes over the TP region with a special focus on the convection and precipitation. The spatial scale of annual precipitation is generally small. Convection system contributes significantly to the total precipitation over the TP, and is therefore a key to understand the water cycle of the region. Thus, we will investigate the impact of convection system on the water cycle, especially precipitation. The contribution of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) to the precipitation over the TP will be addressed by using the Rain Cell Tracking method. A multi-model and/or multischeme approach will be utilized to assess the ability of regional climate model (RCM) in simulating convective precipitation over the TP, with the aid of satellite observations and water isotope observations. The targeted resolution is 2-9 km with a focus on convectionpermitting simulations (2-4 km). The simulations from different models or model configurations will be intercompared. We will start with a test simulation of one year. When this is done successfully, we plan to run a subset of models/model setups for a multi-year period between 1979 and 2018. The exact number of years will depend on the evaluation of the one year test and the computing resources available. The outcomes of the project are expected to enhance our understanding of processes relevant for cloud and precipitation formation, convection, MCS, and local wind system. They should also be useful to future high resolution regional climate modeling and regional reanalysis over the TP. Other studies, such as the water cycle will also benefit from the results of this project. An international was established for this project, including experts in regional climate modeling, relevant observation, statistical analysis, water isotope modeling and observations, as well as regional cryosphere and climate studies. Most of the teams have been actively engaged in or are in leading positions for an international research program the Third Pole Environment (TPE) which calls for such an effort. This project has a great potential to be successful and useful to WCRP in general and CORDEX in particular.

 

See the complete list of FPSs here

New high-resolution (25km) CORDEX CORE simulations available

The regional climate simulations of the CORDEX CORE activity are now available at the ESGF, look for the XXX-22 domains.

For other RegCM simulations not available at the ESGF, please find further information on data access here

The simulations cover all major inhabited areas of the world at a resolution of 25km. Two RCMs (RegCM from ICTP and REMO from GERICS) are used to downscale three GCMs for two RCPs (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5).

 

For further information, please contact:

armelle.remedio@hzg.de

coppolae@ictp.it

claas.teichmann@hzg.de

See Professor Erik Kjellstrom inteview IPCC co-chair Panmao Zhai

Climate professor Erik Kjellstrom interviews IPCC-co-chair Panmao Zhai on the importance of CORDEX for IPCC. Click here to see the video.

Follow the CORDEX conference in Bejing online!

Click here for information on webcasting for all streamed sessions
And click here for instructions on the web streaming system Douyu

IPCC co-chair Panmao Zhai answers three quick questions on CORDEX/IPCC

 

  1. Why is CORDEX and the work carried out within the CORDEX framework important from an IPCC perspective?

CORDEX aims to develop and provide detailed, regional climate information necessary for vulnerability, impact and adaptation studies at local and regional levels. The aims of CORDEX fit perfectly for IPCC AR6, under the demands of governments for increased policy-relevant regional downscaled information, to fill the noted knowledge gaps in climate change hazards, risks and adaptation at the national, regional or even local levels.

 

  1. Could you give some examples?

To address and enhance the treatment of regional climate change issues, the structure of IPCC WGI AR6 has been designed to allow a detailed and comprehensive assessment of regional and sectoral-relevant climate information. Among 12 scoped chapters, we have three dedicated chapters linking global to regional climate change, weather and climate extremes and climate information for regional impact and risk assessment,. We also have an Altlas providing regional climate change information visually.

CORDEX supports IPCC assessment on coordinated regional climate change and extreme information. A comprehensive assessment of multiple sources of regional climate information, including downscaling methodologies is in great need in WGI AR6 report. Thus, outcomes from CORDEX, will be huge support to improve regional scale information not only on historical simulations but also on future climate change.

 

  1. What do you hope from the conference – what will it contribute to?

This main focus of the International Conference on Regional Climate (ICRC)- CORDEX 2019 including benefits of downscaling; further development of earth system models; the human factor, impacts and applications and knowledge exchange. Many of these can directly contribute to IPCC AR6, especially on downscaling impact and application, and updated knowledge exchange for various regions. Some others such as further development of earth system models can contribute to future IPCC activities. I hope the outcome of this conference can be published as soon as possible to support AR6 reports for WGI and WGII.