CLIMATE RESEARCH, vol.52, no.1, pp.63-76, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
The Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) is a framework designed to coordinate international efforts on regional climate simulations. CORDEX domains encompass the majority of land areas of the world. Region 8 of the CORDEX basically covers Central Asia, with the corners of the domain at 54.76 degrees N, 11.05 degrees E; 56.48 degrees N, 139.13 degrees E; 18.34 degrees N, 42.41 degrees E; and 19.39 degrees N, 108.44 degrees E and with a horizontal resolution of 50 km. In the present study, the results of an experiment with the ICTP regional climate RegCM 4.0 model that was run for seasonal mean air temperature and precipitation total series are presented. The experiment consists of one simulation from 1989 to 2010 using ERA-Interim reanalysis data as the boundary condition, another simulation for the period 1970-2000 using the global climate model ECHAM5 A1B scenario data for forcing, and finally a simulation for the period 2070-2100 using the ECHAM5 A1B scenario projection data for forcing. Between these 3 simulations we determined the temperature and precipitation climatology obtained from RegCM 4.0 downscaling for Region 8 of the CORDEX framework. In spite of the diverse topography of the region, the temperature and precipitation climatology obtained by RegCM 4.0 from hindcast data captures the general characteristics of the climate of Central Asia. In winter, the warm temperature bias of the forcing data is slightly decreased by regional downscaling. The influences of the Indian monsoon system are well represented, as this region covers a large area towards the southern boundary of Region 8, even though the focus of this work was to capture the general characteristics of the whole region.