Colombian climatology in CMIP5/CMIP6 models: Persistent biases and improvements

Keywords: Colombia, climate change, CMIP5, CMIP6, general circulation model

Abstract

Northern South America is among the regions with the highest vulnerability to climate change. General Circulation Models (GCMs) are among the different tools considered to analyze the impacts of climate change. In particular, GCMs have been proved to provide useful information, although they exhibit systematic biases and fail in reproducing regional climate, particularly in terrains with complex topography. This work evaluates the performance of GCMs included in the fifth and sixth phases of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), representing the annual cycle of precipitation and air surface temperature in Colombia. To evaluate this, we consider different observational and reanalysis datasets, including in situ gauges from the Colombian Meteorological Institute. Our results indicate that although the most recent generation of GCMs (CMIP6) show improvements with respect to the previous generation (CMIP5), they still have systematic biases in representing the Intertropical Convergence Zone and elevation-dependent processes, which highly determine intra-annual precipitation and air surface temperature in Colombia. In addition, CMIP6 models have larger biases in temperature over the Andes than CMIP5. We also analyze climate projections by the end of the 21st century according to the CMIP5/CMIP6 simulations under the highest greenhouse gases emission scenarios. Models show projections toward warmer air surface temperatures and mixed changes of precipitation, with decreases of precipitation over the Orinoco and Colombian Amazon in September-November and increases over the eastern equatorial Pacific during the entire year.

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Author Biographies

Paola A. Arias, Universidad de Antioquia

Professor, Environmental Engineering School

Geusep Ortega, Universidad de Antioquia

Professor, Environmental Engineering School

Laura D. Villegas, Universidad de Antioquia

Student, Environmental Engineering School

J. Alejandro Martínez, Universidad de Antioquia

Professor, Enviromental Engineering School

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Published
2021-05-03
How to Cite
AriasP. A., OrtegaG., VillegasL. D., & MartínezJ. A. (2021). Colombian climatology in CMIP5/CMIP6 models: Persistent biases and improvements. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (100), 75-96. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.redin.20210525