Markus G. Donat, Carlos Delgado‐Torres, Paolo De Luca, Rashed Mahmood, Pablo Ortega, Francisco J. Doblas‐Reyes

How Credibly Do CMIP6 Simulations Capture Historical Mean and Extreme Precipitation Changes?

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Geophysics

AbstractFuture precipitation changes are typically estimated from climate model simulations, while the credibility of such projections needs to be assessed by their ability to capture observed precipitation changes. Here we evaluate how skillfully historical climate simulations contributing to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) capture observed changes in mean and extreme precipitation. We find that CMIP6 historical simulations skillfully represent observed precipitation changes over large parts of Europe, Asia, northeastern North America, parts of South America and western Australia, whereas a lack of skill is apparent in western North America and parts of Africa. In particular in regions with moderate skill the availability of very large ensembles can be beneficial to improve the simulation accuracy. CMIP6 simulations are regionally skillful where they capture observed (positive or negative) trends, whereas a lack of skill is found in regions characterized by negative observed precipitation trends where CMIP6 simulates increases.

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