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Evaluation of the regional climate response in Australia to large-scale climate modes in the historical NARCliM simulations

Abstract

NARCliM (New South Wales (NSW)/Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Regional Climate Modelling project) is a regional climate modeling project for the Australian area. It is providing a comprehensive dynamically downscaled climate dataset for the CORDEX-AustralAsia region at 50-km resolution, and south-East Australia at a resolution of 10 km. The first phase of NARCliM produced 60-year long reanalysis driven regional simulations to allow evaluation of the regional model performance. This long control period (1950–2009) was used so that the model ability to capture the impact of large scale climate modes on Australian climate could be examined. Simulations are evaluated using a gridded observational dataset. Results show that using model independence as a criteria for choosing atmospheric model configuration from different possible sets of parameterizations may contribute to the regional climate models having different overall biases. The regional models generally capture the regional climate response to large-scale modes better than the driving reanalysis, though no regional model improves on all aspects of the simulated climate.

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Acknowledgements

This research was undertaken with the assistance of resources provided at the ‘NCI National Facility’ through the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme supported by the Australian Government. NARCliM is funded through a consortium of project partners including NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, Sydney Water, Sydney Catchment Authority, Hunter Water, NSW Department of Transport, NSW Department of Primary Industry, NSW Office of Water. The work was supported by the Australian Research Council as part of the Future Fellowship FT110100576 and Linkage Project LP120200777. Authors are also gratefully to all the different institutions which compute and provide the global climate indices. Authors also thanks, P. Maher from the ARCCSS-CCRC for the computations of the blocking index.

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Correspondence to L. Fita.

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Fita, L., Evans, J.P., Argüeso, D. et al. Evaluation of the regional climate response in Australia to large-scale climate modes in the historical NARCliM simulations. Clim Dyn 49, 2815–2829 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-016-3484-x

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Keywords

  • Regional climate modelling
  • Australia
  • Climate modes