Projecting Global Changes in Precipitation Extremes
Toreti, A., Naveau, P., Zampieri, M., Schindler, A., Scoccimarro, E., Xoplaki, E., Dijkstra, H.A., Gualdi, S. and Luterbacher, J. 2013. Projections of global changes in precipitation extremes from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models. Geophysical Research Letters 40: 1-6.
Hoping to improve on this less-than-desirable situation, Toreti et al. evaluated "simulated daily precipitation extremes in the twentieth century assuming stationary processes," and they provided "for the first time a comprehensive global assessment of seasonal future changes in daily precipitation extremes identifying regions where both consistency (i.e., models agreement) and reliability (i.e., goodness of fit of the applied statistical model) are achieved." And what did their study reveal?
The nine researchers report that "for the subtropics and tropics, the lack of reliable and consistent estimations found for both the historical and future simulations might be connected with model deficiencies in the representation of organized convective systems." In addition, they state that "a reliable characterization of daily extreme precipitation cannot be achieved for larger areas of the world, where an estimation of the return levels cannot be obtained." And they add that "a glance at the individual simulations reveals remarkable intermodal differences."
With all of the trouble researchers are finding with the ability of the world's most cutting-edge climate models to "predict the past," so to speak, it makes little sense to put much value in what they are predicting for the future.
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