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Evaluation of model performance as a measure for the production of consensus climate projections in the Australian region

PI: Steven Crimp
Institution: Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Additional Investigators: Jozef Syktus
One of the single most important barriers to the assessment of climate change impacts on the biophysical environment in Queensland has been the availability of appropriate spatial and temporal climate scenarios. In addition the uncertainty in the magnitude and direction of projected rainfall, given coupled models poor representation of some of the main rain producing features such as the ITCZ and SPCZ, also poses important limitations on the nature of the impact assessment currently undertaken.

Using data from the climate change simulations prepared as part of the IPCC AR4 suite we propose to:

* Assess the skill of the AR4 coupled model suite in reproducing seasonal variations in Australian rainfall, potential evaporation, and surface temperatures over the last 50 to 70 years.

* Use the individual model performance, over the historical period, as a measure for constructing consensus/aggregated projections of temperature, rainfall and potential evaporation change in Queensland.

* Downscale the consensus/aggregated projections down to an equivalent 5km resolution using a canonical correlation or normalised differencing approach.

The development of this methodology will serve to facilitate the production of high-resolution climate change scenarios suitable for use in climate change impact studies in Queensland.

The data required to undertake this project would consist of the following:
Australian monthly average rainfall;
Australian surface temperature;
Australian minimum and maximum temperature; and
Australian potential evaporation.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate