Introducing NARCliM1.5: evaluating the performance of regional climate projections for southeast Australia for 1950-2100.

Nishant, N., J.P. Evans, G.Di Virgilio, S.M. Downes, F. Ji, K.K.W. Cheung, E. Tam, J. Miller, K. Beyer and M.L. Riley
Earth’s Future, 9(7), e2020EF001833, doi: 10.1029/2020EF001833, 2021.


The NARCliM project contributes to the CORDEX initiative for Australasia. The first generation of NARCliM (N1.0) used CMIP3 global climate models (GCMs) and provided near and far future estimates of climate change across Australasia at 50-km and southeast Australia at 10-km resolution under a business-as-usual climate scenario. However, multiple sets of 20-year periods in N1.0 did not permit analysis of long-term, inter-annual to decadal trends across the 21st century. Feedback on user needs for regional climate information revealed the desire for multiple emission scenarios and use of newer CMIP5 GCMs for dynamical downscaling. These limitations led to development of the second iteration of NARCliM, namely NARCliM1.5 (N1.5). The N1.5 downscaling exercise uses CMIP5 GCMs and is temporally expanded to cover 150 years (1950–2100) for two future Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). N1.5 simulations remain at the 50-km and 10 km resolutions over the same domains as N1.0, thus producing an expanded and complementary data set for regional climate change. N1.5 simulations substantially improve over N1.0 in capturing the seasonal patterns and magnitudes of precipitation, including improvements in overall bias. Conversely, N1.5 shows similar results to N1.0 for maximum and minimum temperature, with no substantial improvement in overall bias. N1.5 projections project a hotter and drier future relative to N1.0. The combined N1.0 and N1.5 ensemble provides a wider spread of future climates more representative of that found in the full CMIP5 ensemble. Together, N1.0 and N1.5 ensembles provide an improved, more comprehensive data set for studying climate change.

Key Figure

Figure 13. Timeseries (from 1951 to 2099) of minimum temperature (°C) for the five capital cities (a) Sydney, (b) Melbourne, (c) Canberra, (d) Brisbane and (e) Adelaide within the model domain. Here red and blue solid lines denote the ensemble mean of NARCliM1.0(N1.0) and NARCliM1.5(N1.5) simulations, respectively, and the shading denotes the maximum and minimum across the ensemble members. The black solid line represents the AGCD observations.

UNSW    This page is maintained by Jason Evans | Last updated 23 January 2018