Climate Dynamics

, Volume 51, Issue 11–12, pp 4525–4542 | Cite as

On the role of horizontal resolution over the Tibetan Plateau in the REMO regional climate model

  • Jingwei XuEmail author
  • Nikolay Koldunov
  • Armelle Reca C. Remedio
  • Dmitry V. Sein
  • Xiefei Zhi
  • Xi Jiang
  • Min Xu
  • Xiuhua Zhu
  • Klaus Fraedrich
  • Daniela Jacob


A number of studies have shown that added value is obtained by increasing the horizontal resolution of a regional climate model to capture additional fine-scale weather processes. However, the mechanisms leading to this added value are different over areas with complicated orographic features, such as the Tibetan Plateau (TP). To determine the role that horizontal resolution plays over the TP, a detailed comparison was made between the results from the REMO regional climate model at resolutions of 25 and 50 km for the period 1980–2007. The model was driven at the lateral boundaries by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Interim Reanalysis data. The experiments differ only in representation of topography, all other land parameters (e.g., vegetation characteristics, soil texture) are the same. The results show that the high-resolution topography affects the regional air circulation near the ground surface around the edge of the TP, which leads to a redistribution of the transport of atmospheric water vapor, especially over the Brahmaputra and Irrawaddy valleys—the main water vapor paths for the southern TP—increasing the amount of atmospheric water vapor transported onto the TP by about 5%. This, in turn, significantly decreases the temperature at 2 m by > 1.5 °C in winter in the high-resolution simulation of the southern TP. The impact of topography on the 2 m temperature over the TP is therefore by influencing the transport of atmospheric water vapor in the main water vapor paths.


REMO regional climate model Validation High-resolution Added value Tibetan Plateau 



We thank anonymous reviewers for comments and suggestions that helped to improve the manuscript. Also, we are very thankful to Dr. Diana Rechid at GERICS for her discussions. This work is supported by the project “Numerical study of the surface energy and mass balance and the characteristics of boundary layer for a mountain glacier” supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41371095), the project S1 (Climate Models as Metrics) of the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 181 Energy Transfer in Atmosphere and Ocean program funded by the German Research Foundation, EC project PRIMAVERA under the grant agreement no. 641727 and the state assignment of FASO Russia (theme No. 0149-2018-0014). We thank the MERRA for providing the high-resolution 2 m temperature and precipitation gridded data. We thank the Climate System Department at GERICS for the consultations on the REMO model. Simulations were done at the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ). This study is also funded by “the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions” (PAPD).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change (ILCEC)/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)/Joint Center for Data Assimilation Research and ApplicationsNanjing University of Information Sciences and Technology (NUIST)NanjingChina
  2. 2.Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)/Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG)HamburgGermany
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburgGermany
  4. 4.MARUM–Center for Marine Environmental SciencesBremenGermany
  5. 5.Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)BremerhavenGermany
  6. 6.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of ScienceMoscowRussia
  7. 7.Meteorological Bureau of Jiangsu ProvinceNanjingChina
  8. 8.Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, CliSAPUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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