Can correcting feature location in simulated mean climate improve agreement on projected changes?

Adam A.L. Levy, William Ingram, Mark Jenkinson, Chris Huntingford, F. Hugo Lambert, Myles Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


To the extent that deficiencies in GCM simulations of precipitation are due to persistent errors of location and timing, correcting the spatial and seasonal distribution of features would provide a physically based improvement in inter-model agreement on future changes. We use a tool for the analysis of medical images to warp the precipitation climatologies of 14 General Circulation Models (GCMs) closer to a reanalysis of observations, rather than adjusting intensities locally as in conventional bias correction techniques. These warps are then applied to the same GCMs' simulated changes in mean climate under a CO2 quadrupling experiment. We find that the warping process not only makes GCMs' historical climatologies more closely resemble reanalysis but also reduces the disagreement between the models' response to this external forcing. Developing a tool that is tailored for the specific requirements of climate fields may provide further improvement, particularly in combination with local bias correction techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 28 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this