As reported in Fifth IPCC Assessment Report (IPCC WGII – AR5) and in the Chinese government’s White Paper, China is one of the most susceptible countries to the adverse effects of climate change, mainly in the fields of agriculture, livestock breeding, forestry, natural ecosystems, water resources, and coastal zones. Indeed, the IPCC (IPCC WGI – AR5) states that annual temperatures and heavy precipitation events in China are very likely to increase in the future.
In a paper recently published on Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, the CMCC researchers E. Bucchignani, M. Montesarchio, L. Cattaneo, M.P. Manzi and P. Mercogliano presented climate change simulations for a Chinese area with COSMO-CLM driven by ERA-Interim Reanalysis and by the output of the CMCC-CM global model under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios.
One of the aims was to assess the capabilities of COSMO-CLM at high resolution in reproducing the climate of China in the recent past, taking into account the large computational costs. Results revealed a good improvement in the representation of precipitation, as does the representation of temperature, albeit to a lesser extent. Climate projections, under the new IPCC RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios, show a significant warming expected in China over the 21st century, while precipitation changes are expected only on a regional scale: increases in precipitation are projected for both scenarios in the northern part of the domain, while the southern area will be affected by a reduction in winter.
In the future, the performed simulations will also be analyzed to investigate the ability of COSMO-CLM to reproduce climate extreme values over China.
The abstract of the paper:
This study presents the results of high-resolution (0.125°) climate simulations over a Chinese area performed with an optimized configuration of the regional climate model COSMO-CLM, driven by ERA-Interim Reanalysis over the period 1979–2011 and by the output of the global model CMCC-CM (resolution 0.75°) over the period 1979–2100. The main aim of this work was to analyze the capabilities of COSMO-CLM to describe the climate of China in the recent past; validation revealed a good improvement in reproducing the precipitation and a reasonable improvement in 2 m temperature representation compared to results reported elsewhere. Climate projections, under the new IPCC RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios, show a significant warming expected in China over the 21st century, while precipitation changes are expected only on a regional scale: increases in precipitation are projected for both scenarios in the northern part of the domain, while the southern area will be affected by a reduction in winter.
Read the integral version of the paper:
Bucchignani E., Montesarchio M., Cattaneo L., Manzi M.P., Mercogliano P. (2014) Regional Climate modeling over China with COSMO-CLM: performance assessment and climate projections
Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres – DOI: 10.1002/2014JD022219