Regional Climate: Current Research
Evaluating Climate Model Simulations for the Pacific Northwest
- Philip Mote (contact person)
Simulations of global climate need to be carefully and critically examined before using output at a regional scale.
- How well do several climate models simulate regional climate (mean seasonal cycle, long-term trends) compared with observations?
- Using this information, what is the statistical distribution of projections of future climate change? How well do these compare with a statistical model fitted to observed carbon dioxide (CO2) and Pacific Northwest (PNW) temperatures, then extrapolated using projections of future CO2?
click image to enlarge
Observed and modeled decadal average PNW temperatures, 1900-2040. This plot underscores that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the 20th century in the Northwest (as well as globally) by almost 1ºF, and that the rate of warming from 1970 to 2000 has been roughly the same as that simulated by the CGCM1 model (from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis: Boer et al. 2000 Climate Dynamics 16:405-426). Looking ahead to the 2020s and 2040s, we’ve examined output from a total of eight global climate models; the warmest, average, and coolest simulations of these eight models are shown in red, yellow, and green, respectively.
For More Information
For more publications on climate impacts on PNW climate, please see CIG Publications.
Mote, P. W., E. A. Parson, A. F. Hamlet, K. N. Ideker, W. S. Keeton, D. P. Lettenmaier, N. J. Mantua, E. L. Miles, D. W. Peterson, D. L. Peterson, R. Slaughter, and A. K. Snover. 2003. Preparing for climate change: the water, salmon, and forests of the Pacific Northwest. Climatic Change 61:45-88.