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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 12
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 5041-5059, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-5041-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 5041-5059, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-5041-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 12 Dec 2013

Research article | 12 Dec 2013

Regional climate models' performance in representing precipitation and temperature over selected Mediterranean areas

R. Deidda1,3, M. Marrocu2, G. Caroletti1,3,6, G. Pusceddu2, A. Langousis7, V. Lucarini1,5, M. Puliga1,3, and A. Speranza1,4 R. Deidda et al.
  • 1CINFAI, Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Fisica delle Atmosfere e delle Idrosfere, Camerino, MC, Italy
  • 2CRS4, Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Studi Superiori in Sardegna, Loc. Piscina Manna, Edificio 1, 09010 Pula, CA, Italy
  • 3Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Architettura, Università di Cagliari, Piazza d'Armi, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
  • 4Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri 9, Camerino, MC, Italy
  • 5Klimacampus, Institute of Meteorology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 6Bjerknes Center for Climate Research and Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 7Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece

Abstract. This paper discusses the relative performance of several climate models in providing reliable forcing for hydrological modeling in six representative catchments in the Mediterranean region. We consider 14 Regional Climate Models (RCMs), from the EU-FP6 ENSEMBLES project, run for the A1B emission scenario on a common 0.22° (about 24 km) rotated grid over Europe and the Mediterranean region. In the validation period (1951 to 2010) we consider daily precipitation and surface temperatures from the observed data fields (E-OBS) data set, available from the ENSEMBLES project and the data providers in the ECA&D project. Our primary objective is to rank the 14 RCMs for each catchment and select the four best-performing ones to use as common forcing for hydrological models in the six Mediterranean basins considered in the EU-FP7 CLIMB project. Using a common suite of four RCMs for all studied catchments reduces the (epistemic) uncertainty when evaluating trends and climate change impacts in the 21st century. We present and discuss the validation setting, as well as the obtained results and, in some detail, the difficulties we experienced when processing the data. In doing so we also provide useful information and advice for researchers not directly involved in climate modeling, but interested in the use of climate model outputs for hydrological modeling and, more generally, climate change impact studies in the Mediterranean region.

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