MiKlip first phase: Module C

Given the predictive skill of global climate models, proper downscaling and ensembles systems are needed to get regionalised climate information required for decisions on the regional scale.

The research challenge to regionalize decadal predictions can be broadly divided into two major issues.

First, regional climate modelling with spatial resolution in the order of several km constitute the link between the results provided by global models at resolutions around 100 km and the scale of data needed for designing adaption measures and impact studies. Given the predictive skill of global climate models, proper downscaling and ensembles systems are needed to get regionalised climate information required for decisions on the regional scale.

Second, specific regional processes or feedbacks may have large impact on global predictability, such as continental surfaces with large soil moisture feedbacks, areas with significant air pollution, Arctic sea ice zone, certain oceanic frontal circulation systems and their heat storage variability.

To achieve valuable predictions for relevant target regions in MiKlip Module C the following research questions are addressed:

  • Can a predictive skill on the large scale be maintained on the regional scale?
  • What is the optimal method to achieve a regional skill?
  • What is the added value of regionalisation?

For the second aspect of regionalisation the essential research question is:

  • What is the impact of the more detailed description of regional scale processes in specific regions on the global scale predictability?

MiKlip Module C focuses on two continental regions, including parts of their adjacent oceans, which are assumed to have different potential predictability, namely Europe and northern/tropical Africa. There is a high interest in skilful regional climate prediction for both regions. There are coupling processes between both regions such as hurricanes over the Atlantic developing from Mesoscale Convective Systems in western Africa as well as the export of mineral dust which interconnect Africa with the Middle and North Atlantic. The Central American/Atlantic sector on the other hand is the region of tropical storms in transition to extratropical cyclones affecting Europe. A more detailed description of the regional processes there has the potential to enhance the skill of climate predictions for Europe.

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