Climatic Change

, Volume 81, Supplement 1, pp 31–52 | Cite as

An inter-comparison of regional climate models for Europe: model performance in present-day climate

  • Daniela Jacob
  • Lars Bärring
  • Ole Bøssing Christensen
  • Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen
  • Manuel de Castro
  • Michel Déqué
  • Filippo Giorgi
  • Stefan Hagemann
  • Martin Hirschi
  • Richard Jones
  • Erik Kjellström
  • Geert Lenderink
  • Burkhardt Rockel
  • Enrique Sánchez
  • Christoph Schär
  • Sonia I. Seneviratne
  • Samuel Somot
  • Aad van Ulden
  • Bart van den Hurk
Article

Abstract

The analysis of possible regional climate changes over Europe as simulated by 10 regional climate models within the context of PRUDENCE requires a careful investigation of possible systematic biases in the models. The purpose of this paper is to identify how the main model systematic biases vary across the different models. Two fundamental aspects of model validation are addressed here: the ability to simulate (1) the long-term (30 or 40 years) mean climate and (2) the inter-annual variability. The analysis concentrates on near-surface air temperature and precipitation over land and focuses mainly on winter and summer. In general, there is a warm bias with respect to the CRU data set in these extreme seasons and a tendency to cold biases in the transition seasons. In winter the typical spread (standard deviation) between the models is 1 K. During summer there is generally a better agreement between observed and simulated values of inter-annual variability although there is a relatively clear signal that the modeled temperature variability is larger than suggested by observations, while precipitation variability is closer to observations. The areas with warm (cold) bias in winter generally exhibit wet (dry) biases, whereas the relationship is the reverse during summer (though much less clear, coupling warm (cold) biases with dry (wet) ones). When comparing the RCMs with their driving GCM, they generally reproduce the large-scale circulation of the GCM though in some cases there are substantial differences between regional biases in surface temperature and precipitation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Jacob
    • 1
  • Lars Bärring
    • 5
  • Ole Bøssing Christensen
    • 2
  • Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen
    • 2
  • Manuel de Castro
    • 11
  • Michel Déqué
    • 8
  • Filippo Giorgi
    • 10
  • Stefan Hagemann
    • 1
  • Martin Hirschi
    • 3
  • Richard Jones
    • 9
  • Erik Kjellström
    • 5
  • Geert Lenderink
    • 6
  • Burkhardt Rockel
    • 7
  • Enrique Sánchez
    • 11
  • Christoph Schär
    • 3
  • Sonia I. Seneviratne
    • 4
  • Samuel Somot
    • 8
  • Aad van Ulden
    • 6
  • Bart van den Hurk
    • 6
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Danish Meteorological InstituteCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Institut for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETHZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Global Modeling and Assimilation Office NASA, Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  5. 5.Rossby CentreSMHINorrköpingSweden
  6. 6.Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institutede BiltThe Netherlands
  7. 7.GKSS Forschungszentrum GeesthachtGeesthachtGermany
  8. 8.Météo-France CNRMToulouse CedexFrance
  9. 9.Met Office Hadley Centre (Reading Unit), Meteorology BuildingUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  10. 10.The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly
  11. 11.Facultad de Ciencias del Medio AmbienteUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaToledoSpain

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