CR 63:249-266 (2015)  -  DOI:

Regional climate projection over South Korea simulated by the HadGEM2-AO and WRF model chain under RCP emission scenarios

Eun-Soon Im1, Joong-Bae Ahn2,*, Se-Ra Jo2

1Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM), 138602, Singapore
2Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University, Pusan 609735, South Korea
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: This study assesses the regional climate projection newly generated within the framework of the national downscaling project in South Korea. To obtain fine-scale climate information (12.5 km), dynamical downscaling of the HadGEM2-AO global projections forced by the representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenarios is performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modeling system. Changes in temperature and precipitation in terms of long-term trends, daily characteristics and extremes are presented by comparing two 30 yr periods (2041-2070 vs. 2071-2100) in which increasing rates of emission forcing between the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios are relatively similar and quite different, respectively. The temperature increase presents a relevant trend, but the degree of warming varies in different periods and emission scenarios. While the temperature distribution from the RCP8.5 projection is continuously shifted toward warmer conditions by the end of the 21st century, the RCP4.5 projection appears to stabilize warming in accordance with emission forcing. This shift in distribution directly affects the magnitude of extremes, which enhances extreme hot days but reduces extreme cold days. Precipitation changes, however, do not respond monotonically to emission forcing, as they exhibit less sensitivity to different emission scenarios. An enhancement of high intensity precipitation and a reduction of weak intensity precipitation are discernible, implying an intensified hydrologic cycle. Changes in return levels of annual maximum precipitation suggest an increased probability of extreme precipitation with 20 yr and 50 yr return periods.

KEY WORDS: Regional climate projection · Dynamical downscaling · RCP scenario

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Cite this article as: Im ES, Ahn JB, Jo SR (2015) Regional climate projection over South Korea simulated by the HadGEM2-AO and WRF model chain under RCP emission scenarios. Clim Res 63:249-266.

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