Providing more reliable estimates of extreme local rainfall

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A new research paper sheds light on the escalating challenges and possible solutions to providing reliable projections in local precipitation extremes and related uncertainties over the greater Alpine region. The international research team includes CMCC (Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change) – REgional Modeling and geo-Hydrological Impacts (REMHI) division researcher Marianna Adinolfi.

The study entitled “Convection-permitting climate models offer more certain extreme rainfall projections,” provides new insight in the field of accurate projections of future changes in extreme precipitation on a local scale and in turn how these can inform effective adaptation strategies. Led by a team of scientists, including CMCC researcher Marianna Adinolfi, the paper explores how to provide decision makers with more certain extreme rainfall projections as a basis for effective adaptation strategies.

One of the key tools used by the study is a multi-model ensemble of  kilometer-scale convection-permitting models (CPMs), which offers a more nuanced and detailed understanding of local precipitation extremes and associated uncertainties compared to traditional regional climate models (RCMs). The ensemble, generated within the CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study project on Convective Phenomena over Europe and the Mediterranean (FPS Convection), provides crucial insights into the dynamics of extreme precipitation events, particularly during the summer months when convection dominates.

The research reveals a disparity between the projections of the CPMs ensemble and the driving RCMs ensemble, particularly in terms of the contribution from extreme events. During the summer season, the CPMs ensemble demonstrates a greater increase in extreme events, highlighting the significance of capturing local dynamical processes in climate modeling.

Furthermore, the study highlights a substantial reduction in model uncertainties and their contribution to the total uncertainties attributed to the CPMs ensemble by more than 50%. This reduction underscores the enhanced reliability of local precipitation projections provided by the CPMs, which in turn can offer valuable insights for policymakers.

In conclusion, the research highlights the critical importance of incorporating convection-permitting approaches and high-resolution modeling techniques, such as CPMs ensemble, to provide accurate and reliable projections of local precipitation extremes.



More information here:

Fosser, G., Gaetani, M., Kendon, E.J. et al. Convection-permitting climate models offer more certain extreme rainfall projections. npj Clim Atmos Sci 7, 51 (2024).

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