Assessing Climate Simulations
Actionable climate science entails the provision of local-to-regional scale climate information to support decision-making for climate impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. Despite advances in theories, observations, climate modeling techniques, and high performance computing, large uncertainties in model projections of climate change remain. These uncertainties challenge our understanding of the controlling processes and hamper the use and communication of climate information for societal benefits.
With a range of collaborators, Sara C. Pryor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Rebecca J. Barthelmie, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, are developing a hierarchical model evaluation framework informed by different uses of climate models and their output by climate scientists and stakeholders for planning and managing resources. The team is comprised of researchers from Iowa State University, University of California, Los Angeles, Texas A&M University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The framework features a wide variety of measures of model behavior (metrics) that include standard, existing metrics and new metrics developed for the framework. Metrics specifically tailored for the energy-water-land nexus will inform strategies for modeling human-Earth system dynamics at regional scales. The metrics will exploit a wide range of observational data to evaluate model fidelity and explore the mechanisms and sources of model errors and uncertainty.