Climatic Change

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 859–869 | Cite as

Large biases and inconsistent climate change signals in ENSEMBLES regional projections

  • Marco Turco
  • Antonella Sanna
  • Sixto Herrera
  • Maria-Carmen Llasat
  • José Manuel Gutiérrez


In this paper we analyze some caveats found in the state-of-the-art ENSEMBLES regional projections dataset focusing on precipitation over Spain, and highlight the need of a task-oriented validation of the GCM-driven control runs. In particular, we compare the performance of the GCM-driven control runs (20C3M scenario) with the ERA40-driven ones (“perfect” boundary conditions) in a common period (1961–2000). Large deviations between the results indicate a large uncertainty/bias for the particular RCM-GCM combinations and, hence, a small confidence for the corresponding transient simulations due to the potential nonlinear amplification of biases. Specifically, we found large biases for some RCM-GCM combinations attributable to RCM in-house problems with the particular GCM coupling. These biases are shown to distort the corresponding climate change signal, or “delta”, in the last decades of the 21st century, considering the A1B scenario. Moreover, we analyze how to best combine the available RCMs to obtain more reliable projections.


Global Climate Model Large Bias Climate Change Signal Nonlinear Amplification Regional Climate Change Projection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by esTcena (Exp. 200800050084078) and EXTREMBLES (CGL2010-21869) projects, from Plan Nacional de I+D+i 2008–2011. For the RCM data used in this study, we acknowledge the ENSEMBLES project, funded by the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme through contract GOCE-CT-2003-505539. The authors thank AEMET and UC for the data provided for this work (Spain02 gridded precipitation data set).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Turco
    • 1
  • Antonella Sanna
    • 2
  • Sixto Herrera
    • 3
  • Maria-Carmen Llasat
    • 4
  • José Manuel Gutiérrez
    • 5
  1. 1.CMCC (Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change), Impacts on Soil and Coasts DivisionCapuaItaly
  2. 2.CMCC (Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change)BolognaItaly
  3. 3.Grupo de Meteorología, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversidad de Cantabria (UC)SantanderSpain
  4. 4.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Grupo de MeteorologíaInstituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA), CSIC-UCSantanderSpain

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