Climate scientist Dr. L. Ruby Leung at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory authored a feature article titled “A Hierarchical Evaluation of Regional Climate Simulations” for EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), published August 20. The report describes recent advancements in modeling regional climate through a project called Development of Frameworks for Robust Regional Climate Modeling. Due to advances in high-performance computing and numerical modeling, regional simulations can now be made using high resolution or variable resolution global climate models as well as regional climate models. Leung describes a hierarchical framework to systematically evaluate climate simulations at regional scales.
The report also highlights insights from several studies that analyzed simulations generated as part of the evaluation hierarchy. Those studies, including one that specifically compared two local grid refinement approaches for modeling regional climate, have identified discrete challenges associated with how physical processes such as clouds are represented in climate models and their strong dependence on model resolution. Leung summarizes a suite of climate simulations developed for the project that can be used by the community to further investigate the sources of uncertainty in climate simulations.
This work was supported by the Regional and Global Climate Modeling program of the Office of Science within the US Department of Energy.