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Recent Paper with Authors from PCIC Selected for EOS's Research Spotlight

Recent research (Sillman et al., 2013) involving two PCIC researchers, Dr. Francis Zwiers and David Bronaugh, was featured in EOS, the transactions of the American Geophysical Union, as one of their Research Spotlights. The paper investigates the ability of climate models to simulate extreme climate events. The paper draws from observational data and model ouput from the models used in the third and fifth phases of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. The multi-model indices of climate extremes used in the study were generated using climdex.pcic, a piece of software written at PCIC that supports the computation of a suite of 27 climate extremes indices, known as the "CLIMDEX indices," from either model output or observational data.

The researchers found that there were some improvements in the representation of climate extremes in global climate models, reflected in the closer correspondence of modelled precipitation extremes and those from simulations, and the decreased spread of values from the newer climate models. The authors also found that the multi-model mean and mode better represented climate extremes than did any one model and that temperature indices were better represented than precipitation indices. Sillman et al. also note which models perform well for which indices and discuss where discrepancies between model output and observations remain substantial. 

For more information on PCIC publications, see our Publications Library.

To read the volume of EOS that is referred to in this article, go here.

Sillman, J., V.V. Kharin, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers (PCIC) and D. Bronaugh (PCIC)  2013: Climate extreme indices in the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble. Part 1: Model evaluation in the present climate. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50203.