Regional Climate: Current Research
Regional Modeling: Massive Ensembles for Regional Impacts Studies
- Eric Salathé, UW Climate Impacts Group
Since 2000, an innovative scientific experiment based at Oxford University, called climateprediction.net, has made use of over 50,000 volunteers’ personal computers to perform global climate modeling and answer fundamental questions about the response to global greenhouse gases. For the first time, climateprediction.net will perform regional climate modeling for western North America using the HadRM regional model. Regional modeling provides better spatial detail, which is critically important in mountainous regions.
By producing thousands of simulated model futures, this regional experiment will for the first time provide detailed probabilistic answers to key questions about aspects of climate change of great societal relevance that go beyond changes in annual mean temperature and precipitation: frost days, measures of heat waves, number of consecutive dry days, extreme daily precipitation, wind speed, extreme wind events, snowpack, and coastal upwelling, to name a few. Changes in these quantities could affect agriculture, energy demand, human health, coastal ecosystems, flood risk, water supply, and many more aspects of economic and environmental values.
To date we have tested and selected a domain for analysis, developed and coded a user-centric list of output variables, and performed a model validation exercise as a comparison between observations, HadRM, and WRF regional models.
Oxford University, Hadley Centre (UK Met Office)
For more publications on climate impacts on PNW climate, please see CIG Publications.