Regional models

Because of the necessity of transferring climate and weather information representing averages over grid cells which are hundreds of kilometres on a side to point scales where information can actually be applied, a variety of downscaling techniques have been developed and applied in recent years. One methodology is to embed a regional climate model into a GCM or AOGCM in a certain region of interest and use the global model information as a boundary condition for the regional model. The typical regional climate model has grid cells of approximately 50 km on a side providing a higher resolution climate simulation over a limited area. In this way, small-scale effects such as local topography, water bodies or regionally important circulations can be represented in a climate or weather simulation. These local effects, however, are generally not transmitted back to the larger scale model at present. In addition, regional models often have a more realistic treatment of smaller scale processes (convective adjustment, for example), which can lead to more accurate simulations.

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