Precipitation ensembles conforming to natural variations derived from a regional climate model using a new bias correction scheme
Abstract. This study presents a novel bias correction scheme for regional climate model (RCM) precipitation ensembles. A primary advantage of using model ensembles for climate change impact studies is that the uncertainties associated with the systematic error can be quantified through the ensemble spread. Currently, however, most of the conventional bias correction methods adjust all the ensemble members to one reference observation. As a result, the ensemble spread is degraded during bias correction. Since the observation is only one case of many possible realizations due to the climate natural variability, a successful bias correction scheme should preserve the ensemble spread within the bounds of its natural variability (i.e. sampling uncertainty). To demonstrate a new bias correction scheme conforming to RCM precipitation ensembles, an application to the Thorverton catchment in the south-west of England is presented. For the ensemble, 11 members from the Hadley Centre Regional Climate Model (HadRM3-PPE) data are used and monthly bias correction has been done for the baseline time period from 1961 to 1990. In the typical conventional method, monthly mean precipitation of each of the ensemble members is nearly identical to the observation, i.e. the ensemble spread is removed. In contrast, the proposed method corrects the bias while maintaining the ensemble spread within the natural variability of the observations.