1Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10,
07745 Jena, Germany
2Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science,
ETH Zürich, Rämistr. 101, 8075 Zürich, Switzerland
3Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, South Parks
Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
4Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact
Research, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
5German Centre for
Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5E, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Received: 24 Sep 2015 – Discussion started: 19 Oct 2015
Abstract. Understanding, quantifying and attributing the impacts of extreme weather and climate events in the terrestrial biosphere is crucial for societal adaptation in a changing climate. However, climate model simulations generated for this purpose typically exhibit biases in their output that hinder any straightforward assessment of impacts. To overcome this issue, various bias correction strategies are routinely used to alleviate climate model deficiencies, most of which have been criticized for physical inconsistency and the nonpreservation of the multivariate correlation structure. In this study, we introduce a novel, resampling-based bias correction scheme that fully preserves the physical consistency and multivariate correlation structure of the model output. This procedure strongly improves the representation of climatic extremes and variability in a large regional climate model ensemble (HadRM3P, climateprediction.net/weatherathome), which is illustrated for summer extremes in temperature and rainfall over Central Europe. Moreover, we simulate biosphere–atmosphere fluxes of carbon and water using a terrestrial ecosystem model (LPJmL) driven by the bias-corrected climate forcing. The resampling-based bias correction yields strongly improved statistical distributions of carbon and water fluxes, including the extremes. Our results thus highlight the importance of carefully considering statistical moments beyond the mean for climate impact simulations. In conclusion, the present study introduces an approach to alleviate climate model biases in a physically consistent way and demonstrates that this yields strongly improved simulations of climate extremes and associated impacts in the terrestrial biosphere. A wider uptake of our methodology by the climate and impact modelling community therefore seems desirable for accurately quantifying changes in past, current and future extremes.
Revised: 02 Jan 2016 – Accepted: 19 Jan 2016 – Published: 02 Feb 2016
Sippel, S., Otto, F. E. L., Forkel, M., Allen, M. R., Guillod, B. P., Heimann, M., Reichstein, M., Seneviratne, S. I., Thonicke, K., and Mahecha, M. D.: A novel bias correction methodology for climate impact simulations, Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 71-88, doi:10.5194/esd-7-71-2016, 2016.