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Internal Variability of the Canadian RCM’s Hydrological Variables at the Basin Scale in Quebec and Labrador.

Braun, Marco; Caya, Daniel; Frigon, Anne; Slivitzky, Michel (2012). Internal Variability of the Canadian RCM’s Hydrological Variables at the Basin Scale in Quebec and Labrador. Journal of Hydrometeorology , vol. 13 , nº 2. p. 443-462. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-11-051.1.

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Résumé

The effect of a regional climate model’s (RCM’s) internal variability (IV) on climate statistics of annual series of hydrological variables is investigated at the scale of 21 eastern Canada watersheds in Quebec and Labrador. The analysis is carried out on 30-yr pairs of simulations (twins), performed with the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM) for present (reanalysis and global climate model driven) and future (global climate model driven) climates. The twins differ only by the starting date of the regional simulation—a standard procedure used to trigger internal variability in RCMs. Two different domain sizes are considered: one comparable to domains used for RCM simulations over Europe and the other comparable to domains used for North America. Results for the larger North American domain indicate that mean relative differences between twin pairs of 30-yr climates reach ±5% when spectral nudging is used. Larger differences are found for extreme annual events, reaching about ±10% for 10% and 90% quantiles (Q10 and Q90). IV is smaller by about one order of magnitude in the smaller domain. Internal variability is unaffected by the period (past versus future climate) and by the type of driving data (reanalysis versus global climate model simulation) but shows a dependence on watershed size. When spectral nudging is deactivated in the large domain, the relative difference between pairs of 30-yr climate means almost doubles and approaches the magnitude of a global climate model’s internal variability. This IV at the level of the natural climate variability has a profound impact on the interpretation, analysis, and validation of RCM simulations over large domains.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: watersheds; hydrologic cycle; climate models; model output statistics; climate variability
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 19 oct. 2018 15:10
Dernière modification: 19 oct. 2018 15:10
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7316

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