Regional climate models' performance in representing precipitation and temperature over selected Mediterranean areas
Abstract. This paper discusses the relative performance of several climate models in providing reliable forcing for hydrological modeling in six representative catchments in the Mediterranean region. We consider 14 Regional Climate Models (RCMs), from the EU-FP6 ENSEMBLES project, run for the A1B emission scenario on a common 0.22° (about 24 km) rotated grid over Europe and the Mediterranean region. In the validation period (1951 to 2010) we consider daily precipitation and surface temperatures from the observed data fields (E-OBS) data set, available from the ENSEMBLES project and the data providers in the ECA&D project. Our primary objective is to rank the 14 RCMs for each catchment and select the four best-performing ones to use as common forcing for hydrological models in the six Mediterranean basins considered in the EU-FP7 CLIMB project. Using a common suite of four RCMs for all studied catchments reduces the (epistemic) uncertainty when evaluating trends and climate change impacts in the 21st century. We present and discuss the validation setting, as well as the obtained results and, in some detail, the difficulties we experienced when processing the data. In doing so we also provide useful information and advice for researchers not directly involved in climate modeling, but interested in the use of climate model outputs for hydrological modeling and, more generally, climate change impact studies in the Mediterranean region.