What is regional downscaling?

A Global Climate Model (GCM) can provide reliable prediction information on scales of around 1000 by 1000km covering what could be a vastly differing landscape (from very mountainous to flat coastal plains for example) with greatly varying potential for floods, droughts or other extreme events. Regional Climate Models (RCM) and Empirical Statistical Downscaling (ESD), applied over a limited area and driven by GCMs can provide information on much smaller scales supporting more detailed impact and adaptation assessment and planning, which is vital in many vulnerable regions of the world.

Why do we need Regional Climate Downscaling?

Global Climate Models (GCM) can provide us with projections of how the climate of the earth may change in the future. These results are the main motivation for the international community to take decisions on climate change mitigation. However, the impacts of a changing climate, and the adaptation strategies required to deal with them, will occur on more regional and national scales. This is where Regional Climate Downscaling (RCD) has an important role to play by providing projections with much greater detail and more accurate representation of localised extreme events.