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Publication - Professor Paul Valdes

    Reassessing the value of regional climate modelling using palaeoclimate simulations


    Armstrong, E, Hopcroft, P & Valdes, PJ, 2019, ‘Reassessing the value of regional climate modelling using palaeoclimate simulations’. Geophysical Research Letters.


    Regional climate models (RCMs) are often assumed to be more skilful compared to lower-resolution general circulation models (GCM). However, RCMs are driven by input from coarser resolution GCMs, which may introduce biases. This study employs versions of the HadAMB3 GCM at three resolutions (>50km) to investigate the added value of higher resolution using identically configured simulations of the pre-industrial (PI), mid-Holocene, and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The RCM shows improved PI climatology compared to the coarse-resolution GCM and enhanced palaeo-anomalies in the jet stream and storm tracks. However there is no apparent improvement when compared to proxy reconstructions. In the high-resolution GCM, accuracy in PI climate and atmospheric anomalies are enhanced despite its intermediate resolution. This indicates that synoptic and mesoscale features in a RCM are influenced by its low-resolution input, which impacts the simulated climatology. This challenges the paradigm that RCMs improve the representation of climate conditions and change.

    Full details in the University publications repository