Regional climate downscaling (RCD) techniques, including both dynamical and statistical approaches, are being increasingly used to provide higher-resolution climate information than is available directly from contemporary global climate models. The techniques available, their applications, and the community using them are broad and varied, and it is a growing area. It is important however that these techniques, and the results they produce, be applied appropriately and that their strengths and weaknesses are understood. This requires a better evaluation and quantification of the performance of the different techniques for application to specific problems. Building on experience gained in the global modelling community, a coordinated, international effort to objectively assess and intercompare various RCD techniques will provide a means to evaluate their performance, to illustrate benefits and shortcomings of different approaches, and to provide a more solid scientific basis for impact assessments and other uses of downscaled climate information.
The WCRP views regional downscaling as both an important research topic and an opportunity to engage a broader community of climate scientists in its activities. The Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) has served as a catalyst to achieve this goal.
As demonstrated at the recent International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2013 held on 4-7 November in Brussels, Belgium, and co-sponsored by WCRP, the European Commission and IPCC, the CORDEX concept has gained maturity and is showing strong buy-in from the science community and VIA practitioners.
In order to meet stakeholders’ expectations, plans are now underway to follow-up on the conference outcomes so as to improve the experimental framework leading into the second phase of CORDEX (CORDEX-II).”