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Statistically Downscaled Climate Scenarios

PCIC offers statistically downscaled daily Canada-wide climate scenarios, at a gridded resolution of 300 arc-seconds (0.0833 degrees, or roughly 10 km) for the simulated period of 1950-2100. The variables available include minimum temperature, maximum temperature, and precipitation. Users may access the scenarios using an interactive map interface that allows users to zoom, pan and select their region of interest using a rectangular-selection tool.

Access and download Statistically Downscaled GCM Scenarios.

Scenario Selection

Downscaled scenarios are available for up to 27 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and 3 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) (Meinshausen et al., 2011). Scenarios can be selected from any combination of models and RCPs that are of interest and for the desired time period.

Analysis and storage of the full ensemble is often not feasible. Users are encouraged to select models listed in the tables below. The 12 model runs listed here capture 90% of the range of projected changes in temperature and precipitation in all seasons and a suite of indices of extremes (Cannon, 2015).

These 12 GCM runs are used in the PCIC’s Plan2Adapt online tool and the ensemble average from it may be displayed on PCIC’s Climate Explorer online tool (PCEX). Note, only 9 of the 12 GCM runs are available for RCP2.6

If fewer than 12 GCM runs can be selected, they should be chosen following the order listed in the table for the 5 regions within North America (see map of Giorgi regions, Giorgi and Francisco, 2000).

Scenarios Description

These downscaling outputs are based on Global Climate Model (GCM) projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5; Taylor et al., 2012) and historical daily gridded climate data for Canada (McKenney et al., 2011; Hopkinson et al., 2011).​​ Statistical properties and spatial patterns of the downscaled scenarios are based on this gridded observational dataset, which represents one approximation of the actual historical climate. Gridded values may differ from climate stations and biases may be present at high elevations or in areas with low station density (Eum et al., 2014).

Note that for the historical 1950-2005 period, which was used to calibrate the downscaling models, statistical properties of the downscaled outputs will, by design, tend to match those of the gridded observational dataset. The day-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year, etc. sequencing of values, however, will not correspond to observations, since climate models solve a “boundary value problem” and are not constrained to reproduce the timing of natural climate variability (e.g., El Niño-Southern Oscillation) in the observational record.

The ensemble of 12 climate models selected for downscaling is provided in the table below. The ordering, which differs by region (see map of Giorgi regions, Giorgi and Francisco, 2000), is selected to provide the widest spread in projected future climate for smaller subsets of the full ensemble following Cannon (2015).

 

Model Ensembles and Giorgi Regions

Order

WNA

ALA

CNA

ENA

GRL

1

CNRM-CM5-r1

CSIRO-Mk3-6-0-r1

CanESM2-r1

MPI-ESM-LR-r3

MPI-ESM-LR-r3

2

CanESM2-r1

HadGEM2-ES-r1

ACCESS1-0-r1

inmcm4-r1

inmcm4-r1

3

ACCESS1-0-r1

inmcm4-r1

inmcm4-r1

CNRM-CM5-r1

CanESM2-r1

4

inmcm4-r1

CanESM2-r1

CSIRO-Mk3-6-0-r1

CSIRO-Mk3-6-0-r1

CNRM-CM5-r1

5

CSIRO-Mk3-6-0-r1

ACCESS1-0-r1

MIROC5-r3

HadGEM2-ES-r1

ACCESS1-0-r1

6

CCSM4-r2

MIROC5-r3

HadGEM2-ES-r1

CanESM2-r1

CSIRO-Mk3-6-0-r1

7

MIROC5-r3

HadGEM2-CC-r1

MPI-ESM-LR-r3

MRI-CGCM3-r1

HadGEM2-ES-r1

8

MPI-ESM-LR-r3

MRI-CGCM3-r1

CNRM-CM5-r1

CCSM4-r2

MIROC5-r3

9

HadGEM2-CC-r1

CCSM4-r2

CCSM4-r2

MIROC5-r3

HadGEM2-CC-r1

10

MRI-CGCM3-r1

CNRM-CM5-r1

GFDL-ESM2G-r1

ACCESS1-0-r1

CCSM4-r2

11

GFDL-ESM2G-r1

MPI-ESM-LR-r3

HadGEM2-CC-r1

HadGEM2-CC-r1

MRI-CGCM3-r1

12

HadGEM2-ES-r1

GFDL-ESM2G-r1

MRI-CGCM3-r1

GFDL-ESM2G-r1

GFDL-ESM2G-r1

 

Giorgi regions that intersect with Canada: Alaska (ALA), Western North America (WNA), Central North America (CNA), Greenland (GRL), Eastern North America (ENA) and Central America (CAM).

Statistical Downscaling Methods

Bias Correction/Constructed Analogues with Quantile mapping reordering (BCCAQv2).

Data from Global Climate Models is downscaled to a finer resolution using Bias Correction/Constructed Analogues with Quantile mapping reordering (BCCAQv2). BCCAQv2 is a hybrid method developed at PCIC that combines results from BCCA (Maurer et al. 2010) and quantile delta mapping (QDM; Cannon et al. 2015). BCCA uses spatial aggregation from a linear combination of historical analogues for daily large-scale fields. QDM applies a form of quantile mapping where relative changes in GCM quantiles are preserved to avoid inflationary effects that can occur with standard quantile mapping. BCCAQv2 is an updated version of BCCAQ (version 1), where standard quantile mapping was originally used.

For more information on BCCAQv2 see the following papers:

  • Preserving changes in extreme precipitation (i.e. BCCAQ v2): Cannon, Sobie, and Murdock (2015)
  • General method description: Werner and Cannon (2016)
  • BCCAQv2 R package “ClimDown”: Hiebert et al. (2018)
  • BCCA description: Maurer et al., (2010)
  • Climate Imprint description: Hunter and Meentenmeyer (2005)

Bias Correction/Constructed Analogues with Quantile mapping reordering (BCCAQ) version 1.  

The original version of BCCAQ differs from BCCAQv2 (see above) in that it uses QMAP for the quantile mapping step (Gudmundsson et al., 2012). 

For more information on BCCAQv1 see the following papers:

  • General method description: Werner and Cannon (2016)
  • QMAP description: Gudmundsson et al., (2012)
  • BCCA description: Maurer et al., (2010)
  • Climate Imprint description: Hunter and Meentenmeyer (2005)

Bias-Correction Spatial Disaggregation (BCSD)

BCSD (Wood et al., 2004) following Maurer et al., (2008) was used with the following modifications: the incorporation of monthly minimum and maximum temperature instead of monthly mean temperature, as suggested by Bürger et al., (2012) and bias correction using detrended quantile mapping with delta method extrapolation following Bürger et al., (2013). For past validation and analysis of the BCSD downscaling algorithm for British Columbia, see Werner (2011) and Bürger et al. (2012, 2013) and Werner and Cannon (2015).

For more information on BCSD see the following papers:

  • BCSD Description: Wood et al., (2004) and Maurer et al., (2008)
  • Daily modifications to BCSD: Burger et al., (2013), Burger et al., (2012)
  • Application of BCSD in British Columbia: Werner, A.T., (2011) and Werner and Cannon, (2015)

Downscaling Target Dataset

The main observational dataset used to calibrate BCCAQv2 (as well as BCCAQv1 and BCSD) NRCANMet was produced by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and is available at 300 arc second spatial resolution (1/12° grids, ~10 km) over Canada. Daily minimum and maximum temperature, and precipitation amounts for the period 1950-2012 were produced circa 2011 by Hopkinson et al. (2011) and McKenney et al. (2011) on behalf of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), NRCan.  Gridding was accomplished with the Australian National University Spline (ANUSPLIN) implementation of the trivariate thin plate splines interpolation method (Hutchinson et al., 2009) with latitude, longitude and elevation as predictors. This dataset is also available via the PCIC Gridded Meteorological Datasets page.

We thank the Landscape Analysis and Applications section of the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada for developing and making available the Canada-wide historical daily gridded climate dataset used as the downscaling target. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP5, and we thank the climate modeling groups for producing and making available their GCM output. For CMIP the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. PCIC gratefully acknowledges support from Environment Canada for the development of the statistically downscaled GCM scenarios that are distributed from this data page.

Data citations

When referring to the Statistically Downscaled Climate Scenarios produced by PCIC, whether retrieved from this website or found otherwise, the source must be clearly stated. For the most recently released data, the following citation is recommended:

Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, (Feb. 2019). Statistically Downscaled Climate Scenarios. Downloaded from https://data.pacificclimate.org/portal/downscaled_gcms/map/ on <date>. Method: BCCAQ v2. (Please also include specific GCMs, RCP emissions scenarios used, domain of download, and variables in text where citation is made. Citation of relevant references, as provided below, is also recommended where appropriate.)

Or, for the first generation of downscaling products:

Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, (Jan. 2014). Statistically Downscaled Climate Scenarios. Downloaded from https://data.pacificclimate.org/portal/downscaled_gcms_archive/map/ on <date>. Method: <Method> (Either BCCAQ or BCSD). (Please also include specific GCMs, RCP emissions scenarios used, domain of download, and variables in text where citation is made. Citation of relevant references, as provided below, is also recommended where appropriate.)

Terms of use

In addition to PCIC's terms of use, the data for each individual data set is subject to the terms of use of each source organization. For further details please refer to:

No Warranty

The Statistically Downscaled Climate Scenarios are provided by the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium with an open licence on an “AS IS” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied, as to its accuracy or completeness. Any reliance you place upon the information contained here is your sole responsibility and strictly at your own risk. In no event will the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising from reliance upon the data or derived information.

References:

Bürger, G., T.Q. Murdock, A.T. Werner, S.R. Sobie, and A.J. Cannon, 2012: Downscaling extremes - an intercomparison of multiple statistical methods for present climate. Journal of Climate, 25, 4366–4388. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00408.1.

Bürger, G., S.R. Sobie, A.J. Cannon, A.T. Werner, and T.Q. Murdock, 2013: Downscaling extremes - an intercomparison of multiple methods for future climate. Journal of Climate, 26, 3429-3449. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00249.1.

Cannon, A.J., 2015: Selecting GCM scenarios that span the range of changes in a multimodel ensemble: application to CMIP5 climate extremes indices. Journal of Climate, 28(3): 1260-1267. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00636.1

Cannon, A.J., S.R. Sobie, and T.Q. Murdock, 2015: Precipitation by Quantile Mapping: How Well Do Methods Preserve Changes in Quantiles and Extremes? Journal of Climate, 28(17), 6938-6959, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00754.1.

Giorgi, F. and Francisco, R., 2000: Evaluating uncertainties in the prediction of regional climate change. Geophysical Research Letters, 27(9), 1295-1298.

Gudmundsson, L., J. B. Bremnes, J. E. Haugen, and T. Engen-Skaugen, 2012: Technical Note: Downscaling RCM precipitation to the station scale using statistical transformations - a comparison of methods. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 3383–3390, doi:10.5194/hess-16-3383-2012.

Hiebert, J., A. Cannon, A. Schoeneberg, S. Sobie, and T. Murdock, 2018: ClimDown: Climate Downscaling in R. The Journal of Open Source Software, 3(22), 360, doi:10.21105/joss.00360.

Hopkinson, R.F., D.W. McKenney, E.J. Milewska, M.F. Hutchinson, P. Papadopol, and L.A. Vincent, 2011: Impact of Aligning Climatological Day on Gridding Daily Maximum–Minimum Temperature and Precipitation over Canada. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 50, 1654–1665. doi:10.1175/2011JAMC2684.1.

Hunter, R. D., and R. K. Meentemeyer, 2005: Climatologically Aided Mapping of Daily Precipitation and Temperature. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 44, 1501–1510, doi:10.1175/JAM2295.1.

Eum, H.-I., Dibike, Y., Prowse, T. and Bonsal, B., 2014, Inter-comparison of high-resolution gridded climate data sets and their implication on hydrological model simulation over the Athabasca Watershed, Canada. Hydrol. Process., 28, 4250–4271. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10236.

Li, C., Y. Fang, K. Calderia, X. Zhang, N.S. Diffenbaugh, and A.M. Michalak, 2018: Widespread persistent changes to temperature extremes occurred earlier than predicted. Nature Scientific Reports, 8, 1007, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-19288-z  

Maurer, E.P., and H.G. Hidalgo, 2008: Utility of daily vs. monthly large-scale climate data: an intercomparison of two statistical downscaling methods. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 12, 2, 551-563. doi:10.5194/hess-12-551-2008.

Maurer, E., H. Hidalgo, T. Das, M. Dettinger, and D. Cayan, 2010: The utility of daily large-scale climate data in the assessment of climate change impacts on daily streamflow in California. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 14, 6, 1125–1138, doi:10.5194/hess-14-1125-2010.

McKenney, D.W., M.F. Hutchinson, P. Papadopol, K. Lawrence, J. Pedlar, K. Campbell, E. Milewska, R. Hopkinson, D. Price, and T. Owen, 2011: Customized spatial climate models for North America. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92, 12, 1611-1622. doi:10.1175/2011BAMS3132.1.

Meinshausen, M., et al., 2011: The RCP greenhouse gas concentrations and their extensions from 1765 to 2300. Climatic Change, 109(1-2), 213-241.

Sobie, S.R., and T.Q. Murdock, 2017: High-Resolution Statistical Downscaling in Southwestern British Columbia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 56(6), 1625–1641, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0287.1.

Taylor, K.E., R.J. Stouffer, and G.A. Meehl, 2012: An Overview of CMIP5 and the Experiment Design. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 93, 485–498. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00094.1.

Werner, A.T., 2011: BCSD downscaled transient climate projections for eight select GCMs over British Columbia, Canada. Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 63 pp.

Werner, A. T. and A. J. Cannon, A. J., 2016: Hydrologic extremes – an intercomparison of multiple gridded statistical downscaling methods, Hydrololgy and Earth System Sciences, 20, 1483-1508, doi:10.5194/hess-20-1483-2016.

Wood, A.W., L.R Leung, V. Sridhar, and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2004: Hydrologic implications of dynamical and statistical approaches to downscaling climate model outputs. Climatic Change, 62, 189–216, doi:10.1023/B:CLIM.0000013685.99609.9e.