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A test for evaluating the downscaling ability of one-way nested regional climate models : the big-brother experiment

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Geophysics.
  • Physics
  • Atmospheric Science.


The second part of the thesis describes the BBE framework and its first results. The BBE consists in first establishing a reference virtual-reality climate from an RCM simulation using a large and high-resolution domain. This simulation is called the "Big Brother". This big-brother simulation is then degraded toward the resolution of today's global objective analyses (OA) and/or global climate models (GCM) by removing the short scales. The resulting fields are then used as nesting data to drive an RCM (called the "Little Brother") which is integrated at the same high-resolution as the Big Brother, but over a sub-area of the big-brother domain. The climate statistics of the Little Brother are then compared with those of the big-brother simulation over the little-brother domain. Differences between the two climates can thus be unambiguously attributed to errors associated with the dynamical downscaling technique, and not to model errors nor to observation limitations. The results for a February simulation shows that the Canadian RCM, using a factor of 6 between the model and the LBC spatial resolution, and an update interval of 3 hours, is capable to pass the BBE test; thus showing the reliability of the one-way nesting approach.

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