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  • Timm, O., and H. F. Diaz, 2009: Synoptic-Statistical Approach to Regional Downscaling of IPCC 21st Century Climate Projections: Seasonal Rainfall over the Hawaiian Islands. J. Climate, 22, 4261–4280, doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2833.1.

A linear statistical downscaling technique is applied to the projection of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fourth assessment report (AR4) climate change scenarios onto Hawaiian rainfall for the late 21st century. Hawaii’s regional rainfall is largely controlled by the strength of the trade winds. During the winter months, disturbances in the westerlies can produce heavy rainfall throughout the Islands. A diagnostic analysis of sea level pressure (SLP), near-surface winds, and rainfall measurements at 134 weather observing stations around the islands characterize the correlations between the circulation and rainfall during the nominal wet season (November–April) and dry season (May–October). A comparison of the base climate 20th century AR4 model simulations with reanalysis data for the period 1970–2000 is used to define objective selection criterion for the AR4 models. Six out of 21 available models were chosen for the statistical downscaling. These were chosen on the basis of their ability to more realistically simulate the modern large-scale circulation fields in the Hawaiian Islands region. For the AR4 A1B emission scenario, the six analyzed models show important changes in the wind fields around Hawaii by the late 21st century. Two models clearly indicate opposite signs in the anomalies. One model projects 20–30% rainfall increase over the islands; the other model suggests a rainfall decrease of about 10–20% during the wet season. It is concluded from the 6-model ensemble that the most likely scenario for Hawaii is a 5–10% reduction of the wet-season precipitation and a 5% increase during the dry season, as a result of changes in the wind field. We discuss the sources of uncertainties in the projected rainfall changes, and consider future improvements of the statistical downscaling work, and implications for dynamical downscaling methods.

Full Article: http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2009JCLI2833.1

Last Updated: 2009-09-29

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