Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 36, Issue 1–2, pp 365–384 | Cite as

Scale-decomposed atmospheric water budget over North America as simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model for current and future climates

  • Raphaël Bresson
  • René Laprise
Article

Abstract

Through its various radiative effects and latent heat release, water plays a major role in the maintenance of climate. Therefore a better understanding of climate and climate changes requires a better understanding of the hydrological cycle. In this study we investigate the scale-decomposed atmospheric water budget over North America as simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM) driven by the Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM) under current conditions for 1961–1990 and the SRES A2 scenario for 2041–2070. A discrete cosine transform is applied to the atmospheric water budget variables in order to separate small scales that are resolved exclusively by the high-resolution CRCM, from larger scales resolved by both the CRCM and low-resolution driving CGCM. The moisture flux divergence is alternatively decomposed in terms of three scales of wind and humidity to provide nine interaction terms. Statistics of these fields are calculated for winter and summer seasons, and the local statistical significance of climate-change projections is tested. The contributions of each scale band to the water budget current climatology and to its evolution in a warmer climate are investigated, addressing the issue of the potential added value of smaller scales. Results show a time variability larger than the time mean for all variables, and a significant small-scale contribution to time variability, which is even dominant in summer, both in the current and future climates. Future climate exhibits an overall intensification of the hydrological cycle in winter, and more mixed changes in summer. Relative changes in the time mean and time variability appear comparable, and the contribution of each scale band to variability changes remains overall very consistent with their contribution to current climate variability.

Keywords

Regional climate model Scale decomposition Atmospheric water budget Climate change Added value 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was done as part of the Masters project of the first author and as a project within the Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics (CRCMD) Network, funded by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) and the Ouranos Consortium for Regional Climatology and Adaptation to Climate Change. Ouranos also provided office space. We would like to thank Mr. Mourad Labassi for maintaining a user-friendly local computing facility. Thanks are also extended to the Ouranos Climate Simulation Team for their support of the CRCM software and for providing access to the climate simulations analysed here. Discussions with Dr. Soline Bielli have also been deeply appreciated. Finally, we would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers, whose suggestions contributed to improve the manuscript.

References

  1. Allen MR, Ingram WJ (2002) Constraints on the future changes in climate and the hydrological cycle. Nature 419:224–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arakawa A, Lamb V (1977) Computational design of the basic dynamical processes of UCLA General Circulation Model. Methods in computational physics, vol 17. Academic Press, New York, pp 173–265Google Scholar
  3. Bechtold P, Bazile E, Guichard F, Mascart P, Richard E (2001) A mass-flux convection scheme for regional and global models. Q J R Meteorol Soc 127:869–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergeron G, Laprise L, Caya D (1994) Formulation of the Mesoscale Compressible Community (MC2) Model. Internal report from Cooperative Centre for Research in Mesometeorology, pp 165Google Scholar
  5. Bielli S, Laprise R (2006) A methodology for the regional-scale-decomposed atmospheric water budget: application to a simulation of the Canadian Regional Climate Model nested by NCEP-NCAR reanalyses over North America. Mon Weather Rev 134:854–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bielli S, Laprise R (2007) Time mean and variability of the scale-decomposed atmospheric water budget in a 25-year simulation of the Canadian Regional Climate Model over North America. Clim Dyn 29:763–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boer GJ (1982) Diagnostic equations in isobaric coordinates. Mon Weather Rev 110:1801–1820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boer GJ (1994) Mean and transient spectral energy and enstrophy budgets. J Atmos Sci 51:1765–1779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boer GJ, Shepherd TG (1983) Large-scale two-dimensional turbulence in the atmosphere. J Atmos Sci 40:164–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boyd JP (2005) Limited-area Fourier spectral models and data analysis schemes: windows, Fourier extension, Davies relaxation, and all that. Mon Weather Rev 133:2030–2042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caya D, Laprise R (1999) A semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian regional climate model: The Canadian RCM. Mon Weather Rev 127:341–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Christensen JH, Hewitson B, Busuioc A, Chen A, Gao X, Held I, Jones R, Kolli RK, Kwon W‐T, Laprise R, Magaña Rueda V, Mearns L, Menéndez CG, Räisänen J, Rinke A, Sarr A, Whetton P (2007) Regional climate projections. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Davies HC (1976) A lateral boundary formulation for multi-level prediction models. Q J R Meteorol Soc 102:405–418Google Scholar
  14. Denis B, Côté J, Laprise R (2002) Spectral decomposition of two-dimensional atmospheric fields on limited-area domains using the discrete cosine transform (DCT). Mon Weather Rev 130:1812–1829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Efron B, Tibshirani TJ (1993) An introduction to the bootstrap. Chapman and Hall, Norwell, p 436Google Scholar
  16. Errico RM (1985) Spectra computed from a limited area grid. Mon Weather Rev 113:1554–1562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Feser F (2006) Enhanced detectability of added value in limited-area model results separated into different spatial scales. Mon Weather Rev 134:2180–2190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Flato GM, Boer GJ (2001) Warming asymmetry in climate change simulations. Geophys Res Lett 28:195–198Google Scholar
  19. Gal-Chen T, Somerville RCJ (1975) On the use of a coordinate transformation for the solution of the Navier–Stokes equations. J Comp Phys 17:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Giorgi F, Marinucci MR (1996) An investigation of the sensitivity of simulated precipitation to model resolution and its implications for climate studies. Mon Weather Rev 124:148–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Iorio JP, Duffy PB, Govindasamy B, Thompson SL, Khairoutdinov M, Randall D (2004) Effects of model resolution and subgrid-scale physics on the simulation of precipitation in the continental United States. Clim Dyn 23:243–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kain JS, Fritsch JM (1990) A one-dimensional entraining/detraining plume model and application in convective parameterization. J Atmos Sci 47:2784–2802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Laprise R (1992) The resolution of global spectral models. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 73:1453–1454Google Scholar
  24. Laprise R (2003) Resolved scales and nonlinear interactions in limited-area models. J Atmos Sci 60:768–779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laprise R (2008) Regional climate modelling. J Comp Phys 227:3641–3666 Special issue on « Predicting weather, climate and extreme events »CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Laprise R, Girard C (1990) A spectral general circulation model using a piecewise-constant finite element representation on a hybrid vertical coordinate system. J Clim 3:32–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Laprise R, Caya D, Bergeron G, Giguère M (1997) The formulation of André Robert MC2 (mesoscale compressible community) model. Atmos Ocean 35:195–220Google Scholar
  28. Lawford RG, Stewart R, Roads J, Isemer H-J, Manton M, Marengo J, Yasunari T, Benedict S, Koike T, Williams S (2004) Advancing global- and continental-scale hydrometeorology: contributions of GEWEX hydrometeorology panel. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 85:1917–1930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lawford RG, Roads J, Lettenmaier DP, Arkin P (2007) GEWEX contributions to large-scale hydrometeorology. J Hydrometeor 8:629–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McFarlane NA, Scinocca JF, Lazare M, Harvey R, Verseghy D, Li J (2005) The CCCma third generation atmospheric general circulation model. CCCma internal report, pp 25Google Scholar
  31. Music B, Caya D (2007) Evaluation of the hydrological cycle over the Mississippi River basin as simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM). J Hydrometeor 8:969–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Music B, Caya D (2009) Investigation of the sensitivity of water cycle components simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM) to the land surface parameterization, the lateral boundary data and the internal variability. J Hydrometeor 10:3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nakicenovich N et al (2000) IPCC special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 599Google Scholar
  34. Paquin D, Caya D (2000) New convection scheme in the Canadian Regional Climate Model. Res Act Atmos Ocean Model 30:7.14–7.15Google Scholar
  35. Peixoto J, Oort A (1992) Physics of climate. American Institute of Physics, USA, p 520Google Scholar
  36. Riette S, Caya D (2002) Sensitivity of short simulations to the various parameters in the new CRCM spectral nudging. Res Act Atmos Ocean Model 32:7.39–7.40Google Scholar
  37. Scinocca JF, McFarlane NA (2004) The variability of modelled tropical precipitation. J Atmos Sci 61:1993–2015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Trenberth KE (1998) Atmospheric moisture residence times and cycling: implications for rainfall rates with climate change. Clim Change 39:667–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Trenberth KE (1999a) Conceptual framework for changes of extremes of the hydrological cycle with climate change. Clim Change 42:327–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Trenberth KE (1999b) Atmospheric moisture recycling: role of advection and local evaporation. J Clim 12:1368–1381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Trenberth KE, Dai A, Rasmussen RM, Parsons DB (2003) The changing character of precipitation. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 84:1205–1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Van Tuyl AH, Errico RM (1989) Scale interaction and predictability in a mesoscale model. Mon Weather Rev 117:495–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Verseghy DL (1991) CLASS—a Canadian Land Surface Scheme for GCMs. Part I: soil model. Int J Climatol 11:111–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Verseghy DL, McFarlane NA, Lazare M (1993) CLASS—a Canadian Land Surface Scheme for GCMs. Part II: vegetation model and coupled runs. Int J Climatol 13:347–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yakimiw E, Robert A (1990) Validation experiments for a nested grid-point regional forecast model. Atmos Ocean 28:466–472Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics (CRCMD) Network, Centre ESCER (Étude et Simulation du Climat à l’Échelle Régionale)University of Quebec at MontrealMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations