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CMIP5 Problems Modelling Extreme Precipitation Indices in China

Paper Reviewed
Jiang, Z., Li, W., Xu, J. and Li, L. 2015. Extreme Precipitation Indices over China in CMIP5 Models. Part I: Model Evaluation. Journal of Climate 28: 8603-8619.

In a study published in the Journal of Climate, Jiang et al. (2015) compared the extreme precipitation simulations of 31 climate models that participated in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) with a high-resolution daily observational dataset for different parts of China for the period 1960-2005.

This work revealed, as they report, that (1,2) "CMIP5 models still have wet biases in western and northern China," that (3) "in western China, the models median relative error is about 120% for total precipitation (PRCPTOT)," that (4,5) "the 25th and 75th percentile errors are of 70% and 220%, respectively," that the wet biases over western and northern China are (6) "tightly related to the overestimation of southwesterlies along the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula" and (7) "overestimation of the western Pacific subtropical high.

And so the enduring struggle to accurately model the many aspects of Earth's climate continues apace, as climate modelers are ever learning but never quite achieving the success that they seek ... and need.

Posted 18 March 2016