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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 11–12, pp 4539–4559 | Cite as

Internal variability of a dynamically downscaled climate over North America

  • Jiali Wang
  • Julie Bessac
  • Rao Kotamarthi
  • Emil Constantinescu
  • Beth Drewniak
Article

Abstract

This study investigates the internal variability (IV) of a regional climate model, and considers the impacts of horizontal resolution and spectral nudging on the IV. A 16-member simulation ensemble was conducted using the Weather Research Forecasting model for three model configurations. Ensemble members included simulations at spatial resolutions of 50 and 12 km without spectral nudging and simulations at a spatial resolution of 12 km with spectral nudging. All the simulations were generated over the same domain, which covered much of North America. The degree of IV was measured as the spread between the individual members of the ensemble during the integration period. The IV of the 12 km simulation with spectral nudging was also compared with a future climate change simulation projected by the same model configuration. The variables investigated focus on precipitation and near-surface air temperature. While the IVs show a clear annual cycle with larger values in summer and smaller values in winter, the seasonal IV is smaller for a 50-km spatial resolution than for a 12-km resolution when nudging is not applied. Applying a nudging technique to the 12-km simulation reduces the IV by a factor of two, and produces smaller IV than the simulation at 50 km without nudging. Applying a nudging technique also changes the geographic distributions of IV in all examined variables. The IV is much smaller than the inter-annual variability at seasonal scales for regionally averaged temperature and precipitation. The IV is also smaller than the projected changes in air-temperature for the mid- and late twenty-first century. However, the IV is larger than the projected changes in precipitation for the mid- and late twenty-first century.

Keywords

Internal variability Regional climate model Spectral nudging High spatial resolution Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is supported under a military interdepartmental purchase request from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, RC-2242, through US Department of Energy (DOE) contract DE-AC02-06CH11357. The CCSM4 data are downloaded from https://www.earthsystemgrid.org/home.htm. Computational resources are provided by the DOE-supported National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

Supplementary material

382_2017_3889_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1033 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiali Wang
    • 1
  • Julie Bessac
    • 2
  • Rao Kotamarthi
    • 1
  • Emil Constantinescu
    • 2
  • Beth Drewniak
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Science DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  2. 2.Mathematics and Computer Science DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

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