In order to make informed decisions in response to future climate change, researchers, policy-makers, and the public need climate projections at the scale of few kilometers, rather than the scales provided by Global Climate Models. The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) is such a recent effort that addresses this necessity. As the climate models contain various levels of uncertainty, it is essential to evaluate the performance of such models and their representativeness of regional climate characteristics. When assessing climate change impacts, precipitation is a crucial variable, due to its direct influence on many aspects of our natural-human ecosystems such as freshwater resources, agriculture and energy production, and health and infrastructure. The current study performs an evaluation analysis of precipitation simulations produced by a set of dynamically downscaled climate models provided by the NARCCAP program. The Assessment analysis is implemented for a period that covers 20 to 30 years (1970-1999), depending on joint availability of both the observational and the NARCCAP datasets. In addition to direct comparison versus observations, the hindcast NARCCAP simulations are used within a hydrologic modeling analysis for a regional ecosystem in coastal Louisiana (Chenier Plain). The study concludes the NARCCAP simulations have systematic biases in representing average precipitation amounts, but are successful at capturing some of the characteristics on spatial and temporal variability. The study also reveals the effect of precipitation on salinity concentrations in the Chenier Plain as a result of using different precipitation forcing fields. In the future, special efforts should be made to reduce biases in the NARCCAP simulations, which can then lead to a better presentation of regional climate scenarios for use by decision makers and resource managers.
|Commitee:||Chivoiu, Bogdan, Khattab, Ahmed, Khattak, Mohammad J.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Hydrologic sciences, Climate Change|
|Keywords:||Assessment, Climate change, Dynamical downscaling, Precipitation, Regional ecosystem, Simulation|
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