To improve the level skill of climate models (CMs) in reproducing the statistics of daily rainfall at a basin level, two types of statistical approaches have been suggested. One is statistical correction of CM rainfall outputs based on historical series of precipitation. The other, usually referred to as statistical rainfall downscaling, is the use of stochastic models to conditionally simulate rainfall series, based on large-scale atmospheric forcing from CMs. While promising, the latter approach attracted reduced attention in recent years, since the developed downscaling schemes involved complex weather identification procedures, while demonstrating limited success in reproducing several statistical features of rainfall. In a recent effort, Langousis and Kaleris () developed a statistical framework for simulation of daily rainfall intensities conditional on upper-air variables, which is simpler to implement and more accurately reproduces several statistical properties of actual rainfall records. Here we study the relative performance of: (a) direct statistical correction of CM rainfall outputs using nonparametric distribution mapping, and (b) the statistical downscaling scheme of Langousis and Kaleris (), in reproducing the historical rainfall statistics, including rainfall extremes, at a regional level. This is done for an intermediate-sized catchment in Italy, i.e., the Flumendosa catchment, using rainfall and atmospheric data from four CMs of the ENSEMBLES project. The obtained results are promising, since the proposed downscaling scheme is more accurate and robust in reproducing a number of historical rainfall statistics, independent of the CM used and the characteristics of the calibration period. This is particularly the case for yearly rainfall maxima.

Assessing the relative effectiveness of statistical downscaling and distribution mapping in reproducing rainfall statistics based on climate model results

DEIDDA, ROBERTO;
2016-01-01

Abstract

To improve the level skill of climate models (CMs) in reproducing the statistics of daily rainfall at a basin level, two types of statistical approaches have been suggested. One is statistical correction of CM rainfall outputs based on historical series of precipitation. The other, usually referred to as statistical rainfall downscaling, is the use of stochastic models to conditionally simulate rainfall series, based on large-scale atmospheric forcing from CMs. While promising, the latter approach attracted reduced attention in recent years, since the developed downscaling schemes involved complex weather identification procedures, while demonstrating limited success in reproducing several statistical features of rainfall. In a recent effort, Langousis and Kaleris () developed a statistical framework for simulation of daily rainfall intensities conditional on upper-air variables, which is simpler to implement and more accurately reproduces several statistical properties of actual rainfall records. Here we study the relative performance of: (a) direct statistical correction of CM rainfall outputs using nonparametric distribution mapping, and (b) the statistical downscaling scheme of Langousis and Kaleris (), in reproducing the historical rainfall statistics, including rainfall extremes, at a regional level. This is done for an intermediate-sized catchment in Italy, i.e., the Flumendosa catchment, using rainfall and atmospheric data from four CMs of the ENSEMBLES project. The obtained results are promising, since the proposed downscaling scheme is more accurate and robust in reproducing a number of historical rainfall statistics, independent of the CM used and the characteristics of the calibration period. This is particularly the case for yearly rainfall maxima.
2016
climate change, conditional rainfall simulation, precipitation, rainfall extremes, statistical rainfall downscaling, stochastic hydrology, water science and technology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/178962
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