TITLE

Evaluating uncertainties in regional climate simulations over South America at the seasonal scale

AUTHOR(S)
Solman, Silvina; Pessacg, Natalia
PUB. DATE
July 2012
SOURCE
Climate Dynamics;Jul2012, Vol. 39 Issue 1/2, p59
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This work focuses on the evaluation of different sources of uncertainty affecting regional climate simulations over South America at the seasonal scale, using the MM5 model. The simulations cover a 3-month period for the austral spring season. Several four-member ensembles were performed in order to quantify the uncertainty due to: the internal variability; the definition of the regional model domain; the choice of physical parameterizations and the selection of physical parameters within a particular cumulus scheme. The uncertainty was measured by means of the spread among individual members of each ensemble during the integration period. Results show that the internal variability, triggered by differences in the initial conditions, represents the lowest level of uncertainty for every variable analyzed. The geographic distribution of the spread among ensemble members depends on the variable: for precipitation and temperature the largest spread is found over tropical South America while for the mean sea level pressure the largest spread is located over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, where large synoptic-scale activity occurs. Using nudging techniques to ingest the boundary conditions reduces dramatically the internal variability. The uncertainty due to the domain choice displays a similar spatial pattern compared with the internal variability, except for the mean sea level pressure field, though its magnitude is larger all over the model domain for every variable. The largest spread among ensemble members is found for the ensemble in which different combinations of physical parameterizations are selected. The perturbed physics ensemble produces a level of uncertainty slightly larger than the internal variability. This study suggests that no matter what the source of uncertainty is, the geographical distribution of the spread among members of the ensembles is invariant, particularly for precipitation and temperature.
ACCESSION #
77349575

 

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