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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-22
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-22
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation paper 08 Apr 2019

Model evaluation paper | 08 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Sensitivity studies with the Regional Climate Model COSMO-CLM 5.0 over the CORDEX Central Asia Domain

Emmanuele Russo1,2,3, Ingo Kirchner1, Stephan Pfahl1, Martijn Schaap1,4, and Ulrich Cubasch1 Emmanuele Russo et al.
  • 1Institute for Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Carl-Heinrich-Becker-Weg 6-10, 12165, Berlin, Germany
  • 2Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4, 3012, Bern, Switzerland
  • 4TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, Department of Air Quality and Climate, Princetonlaan 6, 3584, CB, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Due to its extension, geography and the presence of several under-developed or developing economies, the Central Asia domain of the Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) is one of the most vulnerable regions on Earth to the effects of climate changes. Reliable information on potential future changes with high spatial resolution acquire significant importance for the development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies for the region. In this context, Regional Climate Models (RCMs) play a fundamental role.

In this paper, the results of a set of sensitivity experiments with the regional climate model COSMO-CLM version 5.0, for the Central Asia CORDEX domain, are presented. Starting from a reference model setup, general model performance is evaluated for present-days, testing the effects of a set of singular physical parameterizations and their mutual interaction on the simulation of monthly and seasonal values of three variables that are important for impact studies: 2-meter temperature, precipitation and diurnal temperature range. The final goal of this study is two-fold: having a general overview of model performance and its uncertainties for the considered region and determining at the same time an optimal model configuration.

Results show that the model presents remarkable deficiencies over different areas of the domain. The combined change of the albedo taking into consideration the ratio of forest fractions and the soil conductivity taking into account the ratio of liquid water and ice in the soil, allows to achieve the best improvements in model performance in terms of climatological means. Importantly, the model seems to be particularly sensitive to those parameterizations that deal with soil and surface features, and that could positively affect the repartition of incoming radiation. The results for the mean climate appear to be independent of the observational dataset used for evaluation and of the boundary data employed to force the simulations. On the other hand, due to the large uncertainties in the variability estimates from observations, the use of different boundaries and the model internal variability, it has not been possible to rank the different simulations according to their representation of the monthly variability.

This work is the first ever sensitivity study of an RCM for the CORDEX Central Asia domain and its results are of fundamental importance for further model development and for future climate projections over the area.

Emmanuele Russo et al.
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Short summary
Investigation of COSMO-CLM 5.0 sensitivity for the CORDEX Central Asia domain, with the main goal of proposing a model optimal configuration for the area, to be used in projection studies. Results show that the model seems to be particularly sensitive to those parameterizations that deal with soil and surface features, and that could positively affect the repartition of incoming radiation.
Investigation of COSMO-CLM 5.0 sensitivity for the CORDEX Central Asia domain, with the main...
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