Current and perturbed climate as simulated by the second-generation Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM-II) over northwestern North America
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An updated version of the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM-II) has been used to perform time-slice simulations over northwestern North America, nested in the coupled Canadian General Circulation Model (CGCM2). Both driving and driven models are integrated in a scenario of transient greenhouse gases (GHG) and aerosols. The time slices span three decades that were chosen to correspond roughly to single, double and triple current GHG concentration levels. Several enhancements have been implemented in CRCM-II since the CRCM-I climate-change simulations reported upon earlier. The larger computational domain, extending further to the west, north and south, allows for a better spin-up of weather systems as they enter the regional domain. The increased length of the simulations, from 5 to 10 years, strengthens the statistical robustness of the results. The improvements to the physical parameterisation, notably the moist convection scheme and the diagnostic cloud formulation, cure the excessive cloud cover problem present in CRCM-I, reduce the warm surface bias and prevent the occurrence of grid-point precipitation storms that occurred with CRCM-I in summer. The dynamical ocean and sea-ice components of CGCM2 that is used to provide atmospheric lateral and surface boundary conditions to CRCM-II, as well as the use of transient rather than equilibrium conditions of GHG and the inclusion of direct aerosols forcing, in both CGCM2 and CRCM-II, increase the realism of the CRCM-II climate-change simulation.