Evaluation Of Cmip5 Ability To Reproduce Twentieth Century Regional Trends In Surface Air Temperature And Precipitation Over Conus
Support for this project was provided by NASA National Climate Assessment 11-NCA 11-0028. Kenneth Kunkel was supported by NOAA through the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites—North Carolina under Cooperative Agreement NA14NES432003.
The ability of the 5th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) to reproduce twentieth-century climate trends over the seven CONUS regions of the National Climate Assessment is evaluated. This evaluation is carried out for summer and winter for three time periods, 1895–1939, 1940–1979, and 1980–2005. The evaluation includes all 206 CMIP5 historical simulations from 48 unique models and their multi-model ensemble (MME), as well as a gridded in situ dataset of surface air temperature and precipitation. Analysis is performed on both individual members and the MME, and considers reproducing the correct sign of the trends by the members as well as reproducing the trend values. While the MME exhibits some trend bias in most cases, it reproduces historical temperature trends with reasonable fidelity for summer for all time periods and all regions, including at the CONUS scale, except the Northern Great Plains from 1895 to 1939 and Southeast during 1980–2005. Likewise, for DJF, the MME reproduces historical temperature trends across all time periods over all regions, including at the CONUS scale, except the Southeast from 1895 to 1939 and the Midwest during 1940–1979. Model skill was highest across all of the seven regions during JJA and DJF for the 1980–2005 period. The quantitatively best result is seen during DJF in the Southwest region with at least 74% of the ensemble members correctly reproducing the observed trend across all of the time periods. No clear trends in MME precipitation were identified at these scales due to high model precipitation variability.
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Lee, J., Waliser, D., Lee, H., Loikith, P., & Kunkel, K. E. (2019). Evaluation of CMIP5 ability to reproduce twentieth century regional trends in surface air temperature and precipitation over CONUS. Climate Dynamics, 53(9-10), 5459-5480.