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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 3–4, pp 1321–1334 | Cite as

Dynamically-downscaled temperature and precipitation changes over Saskatchewan using the PRECIS model

  • Xiong Zhou
  • Guohe Huang
  • Xiuquan Wang
  • Guanhui Cheng
Article

Abstract

In this study, dynamically-downscaled temperature and precipitation changes over Saskatchewan are developed through the Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies (PRECIS) model. It can resolve detailed features within GCM grids such as topography, clouds, and land use in Saskatchewan. The PRECIS model is employed to carry out ensemble simulations for projections of temperature and precipitation changes over Saskatchewan. Temperature and precipitation variables at 14 weather stations for the baseline period are first extracted from each model run. Ranges of simulated temperature and precipitation variables are then obtained through combination of maximum and minimum values calculated from the five ensemble runs. The performance of PRECIS ensemble simulations can be evaluated through checking if observations of current temperature at each weather station are within the simulated range. Future climate projections are analyzed over three time slices (i.e., the 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s) to help understand the plausible changes in temperature and precipitation over Saskatchewan in response to global warming. The evaluation results show that the PRECIS ensemble simulations perform very well in terms of capturing the spatial patterns of temperature and precipitation variables. The results of future climate projections over three time slices indicate that there will be an obvious warming trend from the 2030s, to the 2050s, and the 2080s over Saskatchewan. The projected changes of mean temperature over the whole Saskatchewan area is [0, 2] °C in the 2030s at 10th percentile, [2, 5.5] °C in the 2050s at 50th percentile, and [3, 10] °C in the 2090s at 90th percentile. There are no significant changes in the spatial patterns of the projected total precipitation from the 2030s to the end of this century. The minimum change of the projected total precipitation over the whole Province of Saskatchewan is most likely to be −1.3% in the 2030s, and −0.2% in the 2050s, while the minimum value would be −2.1% to the end of this century at 50th percentile.

Keywords

Global warming Regional climate modeling Climate change Saskatchewan 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Natural Sciences Foundation (51190095, 51225904), the Program for Innovative Research Team in University (IRT1127), the 111 Project (B14008), and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiong Zhou
    • 1
  • Guohe Huang
    • 1
  • Xiuquan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guanhui Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable CommunitiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Resource EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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