Climatic Change

, Volume 147, Issue 1–2, pp 133–147 | Cite as

Downscaling future climate change projections over Puerto Rico using a non-hydrostatic atmospheric model

  • Amit BhardwajEmail author
  • Vasubandhu Misra
  • Akhilesh Mishra
  • Adrienne Wootten
  • Ryan Boyles
  • J. H. Bowden
  • Adam J. Terando


We present results from 20-year “high-resolution” regional climate model simulations of precipitation change for the sub-tropical island of Puerto Rico. The Japanese Meteorological Agency Non-Hydrostatic Model (NHM) operating at a 2-km grid resolution is nested inside the Regional Spectral Model (RSM) at 10-km grid resolution, which in turn is forced at the lateral boundaries by the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4). At this resolution, the climate change experiment allows for deep convection in model integrations, which is an important consideration for sub-tropical regions in general, and on islands with steep precipitation gradients in particular that strongly influence local ecological processes and the provision of ecosystem services. Projected precipitation change for this region of the Caribbean is simulated for the mid-twenty-first century (2041–2060) under the RCP8.5 climate-forcing scenario relative to the late twentieth century (1986–2005). The results show that by the mid-twenty-first century, there is an overall rainfall reduction over the island for all seasons compared to the recent climate but with diminished mid-summer drought (MSD) in the northwestern parts of the island. Importantly, extreme rainfall events on sub-daily and daily time scales also become slightly less frequent in the projected mid-twenty-first-century climate over most regions of the island.



We would like to thank Tracy Ippolito for reviewing our manuscript for editorial corrections.

Funding information

This work was supported by grants from NOAA (NA12OAR4310078, NA10OAR4320143, NA11OAR4310110) and USGS G13AC00408. The supercomputing facility provided by XSEDE under grant number ATM10010 was used to complete the model integrations used in this study.

Supplementary material

10584_2017_2130_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2.11 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction StudiesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Florida Climate InstituteFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  4. 4.Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Science and Technology (COAST)Amity University RajasthanJaipurIndia
  5. 5.Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  6. 6.Institute of the EnvironmentUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  7. 7.U.S. Geological SurveySoutheast Climate Science CenterRaleighUSA
  8. 8.Department of Applied EcologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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