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Assessment of climate change impact on wintertime meteorology over California using dynamical downscaling method with a bias correction technique

  • Author(s): Zhao, Z
  • Di, P
  • Chen, SH
  • Avise, J
  • Kaduwela, A
  • et al.

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Climate change can potentially have great impacts on wintertime precipitation and stagnant conditions, which are critical for both water resources and wintertime particulate matter (PM), in California. This study utilizes the Weather Research and Forecasting model to dynamically downscale a bias-corrected coarse-resolution global climate model dataset from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to a grid size of 4 × 4 km2 over California for a present (2003–2012) and a future (2046–2055) decade. Compared to the present climate, an increase in 2-m temperature (up to 2 K) and water vapor mixing ratio (up to 1 g/kg) and a decrease in planetary boundary layer height (up to 80 m) are projected by the 2050s for the entire state of California. The number of stagnant days over the San Joaquin Valley is expected to increase by approximately 6% in the future decade, indicating potential exacerbation of the winter PM issue in this region. The wintertime precipitation is projected to increase by up to 50% in northern California and, conversely, to decrease by up to 40% in southern California during 2046–2055. The solid phase precipitation is projected to decrease over mountain ranges with lower elevations despite an overall increase in total precipitation, while it is projected to increase over the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada with elevation over 2 km.

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