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Evaluation of historical CMIP6 model simulations and future projections of temperature and precipitation in Paraguay

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This study evaluates the ability of 19 models of CMIP phase 6 (CMIP6) to simulate Paraguay’s climate features. Historical multi-member simulations of single models and their multi-model ensembles are bias-corrected and evaluated with statistical metrics. Future projections of precipitation and temperature are generated with the ensembles for three integrated scenarios of socio-economic development and greenhouse gas emissions (SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, and SSP5–8.5).

The 19 models simulate well the observed mean temperature. The bias-corrected multi-model ensemble reaches the highest skill scores and accurately reproduces the mean spatial field and annual cycle. The bias-corrected multi-model ensemble of precipitation represents the annual cycle weakly, missing the sharp onset and decay of the South American Monsoon. Some individual models and the multi-model ensemble correctly reproduce the west-east gradient, although they underestimate its pronounced spatial variability.

Ensembles of future simulations project that by 2100, the annual mean temperature will increase for the three scenarios. On average, the increases are almost 1.7 °C in the sustainable development and low emissions scenario (SSP1–2.6), 3 °C in the middle-of-the-road development and medium emissions scenario (SSP2–4.5), and 5.5 °C in the fossil-fueled development and high emissions scenario (SSP5–8.5). Models project a slight decrease in annual precipitation towards the northwest (less than 50 mm) and an increase towards the southeast (more than 200 mm). Paraguay’s humid eastern part is projected to have a small growth in temperature and an increase in precipitation. In contrast, the western arid Chaco region would experience a substantial increase in temperature, while rainfall would slightly decrease.

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Data availability

CRU TS 4.03 dataset is available at (University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit 2020). CMIP6 multi-model dataset (Eyring et al. 2016) is available at


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We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments and recommendations helped improve the manuscript. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme, which, through its Working Group on Coupled Modelling, coordinated and promoted CMIP6. We thank the climate modeling groups for producing and making available their model output, the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) for archiving the data and providing access, and the multiple funding agencies who support CMIP6 and ESGF.

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This research was carried out with the support of Projects IO-2017-00254 and IO-2017-00 of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Productive Innovation of Santa Fe (Argentina). Dr. Berbery was supported by NOAA grant NA19NES4320002 (Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies—CISESS) at the University of Maryland/ESSIC.

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Correspondence to Miguel A. Lovino.

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Lovino, M.A., Pierrestegui, M.J., Müller, O.V. et al. Evaluation of historical CMIP6 model simulations and future projections of temperature and precipitation in Paraguay. Climatic Change 164, 46 (2021).

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