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Journal Article

Subsampling impact on the climate change signal over Poland based on simulations from statistical and dynamical downscaling


Mezghani,  A.
External Organizations;

Dobler,  A.
External Organizations;

Benestad,  R.
External Organizations;

Haugen,  J.E.
External Organizations;

Parding,  K.M.
External Organizations;


Piniewski,  Mikolaj
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Kundzewicz,  Zbigniew W.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Mezghani, A., Dobler, A., Benestad, R., Haugen, J., Parding, K., Piniewski, M., Kundzewicz, Z. W. (2019): Subsampling impact on the climate change signal over Poland based on simulations from statistical and dynamical downscaling. - Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58, 5, 1061-1078.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_23554
Most impact studies using downscaled climate data as input assume that the selection of few global climate models (GCMs) representing the largest spread covers the likely range of future changes. This study shows that including more GCMs can result in a very different behavior. We tested the influence of selecting various subsets of GCMs on the climate change signal over Poland from simulations based on dynamical and empirical–statistical downscaling methods. When the climate variable is well simulated by the GCM, such as temperature, results showed that both downscaling methods agree on a warming over Poland by up to 2° or 5°C assuming intermediate or high emission scenarios, respectively, by 2071–2100. As a less robust simulated signal through GCMs, precipitation is expected to increase by up to 10% by 2071–2100 assuming the intermediate emission scenario. However, these changes are uncertain when the high emission scenario and the end of the twenty-first century are of interest. Further, an additional bootstrap test revealed an underestimation in the warming rate varying from 0.5° to more than 4°C over Poland that was found to be largely influenced by the selection of few driving GCMs instead of considering the full range of possible climate model outlooks. Furthermore, we found that differences between various combinations of small subsets from the GCM ensemble of opportunities can be as large as the climate change signal.