Dynamical downscaling: Fundamental issues from an NWP point of view and recommendations
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- Hong, SY. & Kanamitsu, M. Asia-Pacific J Atmos Sci (2014) 50: 83. doi:10.1007/s13143-014-0029-2
Dynamical downscaling has been recognized as a useful tool not only for the climate community, but also for associated application communities such as the environmental and hydrological societies. Although climate projection data are available in lower-resolution general circulation models (GCMs), higher-resolution climate projections using regional climate models (RCMs) have been obtained over various regions of the globe. Various model outputs from RCMs with a high resolution of even as high as a few km have become available with heavy weight on applications. However, from a scientific point of view in numerical atmospheric modeling, it is not clear how to objectively judge the degree of added value in the RCM output against the corresponding GCM results. A key factor responsible for skepticism is based on the fundamental limitations in the nesting approach between GCMs and RCMs. In this article, we review the current status of the dynamical downscaling for climate prediction, focusing on basic assumptions that are scrutinized from a numerical weather prediction (NWP) point of view. Uncertainties in downscaling due to the inconsistencies in the physics packages between GCMs and RCMs were revealed. Recommendations on how to tackle the ultimate goal of dynamical downscaling were also described.