Advancing Regional climate modeling to High resolution with Worldwide Applications - ARCHWAy

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2027
Federal funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other mathematical sciences not elsewhere classified
    • Climatology
    • Meteorology
climate change impact assessment convection land-use regional climate modeling
Project description

Climate change affects the spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall globally, for instance through an intensification of the water cycle in the tropics and a drying of the subtropics. Locally, however, these changes may vary depending on the local environments and land-atmosphere interactions. Regional climate models are the main tools to investigate the climate in local environments and understand underlying physical processes. Improving these regional climate models is essential to reduce the uncertainties in climate projections and enable reliable climate impact assessments e.g. for droughts or flooding. An important source of model errors concerns convection. This is a physical phenomenon responsible for extreme precipitation and the main driving mechanism behind the global water cycle through evaporation in the tropics. Another challenge for high-resolution modeling is the scarcity of high-quality land-use maps, required within the climate model. The ARCHWAy Researcher (Advancing Regional Climate modeling to High-resolution with Worldwide Applications) will be responsible for the development of new generations of the RMI climate model ALARO through implementation of the best available land-use information and improved convection schemes. This will be done by adapting the most recent model improvements from a weatherforecasting context to a climate context supplemented with an optimization for the convection driven regions of the tropics. The improved high-resolution climate modeling configurations will then be used to perform climate projections in line with IPCC guidelines and will be used for local impact assessments. Through improved modelling efforts, the FED-tWIN Researcher is therefore to build a career on the understanding of the water cycle using regional climate modeling with a focus on land-atmosphere interactions in tropical regions. These research goals align with two scientific objectives of the international project on regional downscaling (CORDEX) and the researcher will participate in their activities. To start, ARCHWAy will build upon the existing RMI-UGent collaborations by working out a fully-fledged case study over Ethiopia. This case study includes climate-model setup, validation and analysis and impact assessment using high-resolution climate simulations. The sensitivity with respect to land-use and deep-convection parameterization will thereby be explored as well as topoclimatic effects on rainfall distribution and its impact on vegetation cover and surface hydrology. ARCHWAy will combine the RMI expertise on development and analysis of high-resolution climate models with the UGent network of local contacts and its expertise on land information and impact assessment.