Argonne National Laboratory

Upcoming Events

The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program: Overview of Climate Change Results and Some Ongoing Analyses

Linda O. Mearns, National Center for Atmospheric Research
February 11, 2013 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Building 240, Room 4301
The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) is an international program that is serving the climate scenario needs of the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico. We are systematically investigating the uncertainties in regional scale projections of future climate and producing high resolution climate change scenarios using multiple regional climate models (RCMs) and multiple global model responses by nesting the RCMs within atmosphere ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) forced with a medium-high emissions scenario, over a domain covering the conterminous US, northern Mexico, and most of Canada. The basic spatial resolution of the RCM simulations is 50 km. This program uses six different RCMs, and four different AOGCMs provide boundary conditions to drive the RCMS for 30 years in the current climate and 30 years for the mid 21st century.

We focus on answering two questions in this overview:

  • 1) How do the regional climate model (RCM) simulated climate changes (temperature and precipitation) differ from those of the parent global climate models (GCMs);
  • 2) and how important are the relative contributions of RCMs and GCMs to the uncertainty (variance explained) for the different seasons and variables?

We also show some results for changes in snow and changes in heat waves in the future.