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Future projection of winter precipitation over northwest India and associated regions using CORDEX-SA experiments

Abstract

Precipitation during winter months of December, January, and February over northwest India is important for the production of winter crops as well as for glacial accumulation which goes on to feed major rivers in India with fresh water supply. Winter precipitation over this region is due to the movement of synoptic systems approaching from the Mediterranean known as Western Disturbances (WDs). So far, spatial pattern of winter precipitation over this region has not been studied using different RCMs. The present study evaluates the regional climate model employed in Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment in South Asia (CORDEX-South Asia) framework to characterize winter precipitation over northwest India and Karakoram region. There are 16 CORDEX-South Asia experiments with 3 regional climate models (RCM) driven with 16 global climate models (GCM). Precipitation climatology is calculated for different RCM along with their ensemble. All the experiments show a wet bias over the region. The selection of best performing RCM is identified using various statistical analyses. The CORDEX experiment run by EC_EARTH RCM with RCA4 GCM developed by Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is identified as the best performing model when compared with observation. The change in future seasonal mean precipitation is assessed over northwest India and Karakoram region under two representation concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenarios. A positive change in precipitation is observed over Karakoram region under the two RCP scenarios for near future and far future periods. The magnitude of precipitation change is found to be less over the study area under RCP 8.5 scenario for near future period compared to other scenario and time period.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Regional Climate and the Working Group on Coupled Modelling and Center for Climate Change Research (CCCR), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology for providing CORDEX-South Asia dataset. The authors also acknowledge Earth System Grid Federation infrastructure (ESGF; http://esgf.llnl.gov/index.html). We are also thankful to Ministry of the Environment, Japan, for APHRODITE’s water resource project. Authors are thankful to Madhavi & Saumya for improving the english of the manuscript.

Funding

The work of Midhuna T. M. was supported by Junior Research Fellowship granted by Department of Science and Technology.

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Correspondence to A. P. Dimri.

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Midhuna, T.M., Dimri, A.P. Future projection of winter precipitation over northwest India and associated regions using CORDEX-SA experiments. Theor Appl Climatol 139, 1317–1331 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-019-03049-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-019-03049-7