Projected changes in daily precipitation, temperature and wet-bulb temperature across Arizona using statistically downscaled CMIP6 climate models

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Journal Article
Abstract To evaluate future changes in the climate system, the outputs from coarse-resolution global climate models (GCMs) need to be downscaled to a finer scale, making them more directly applicable for impact assessment. Here we focus on examining the projected changes of three key climate variables (precipitation, air temperature, and wet bulb temperature) across Arizona (south-western United States). We use daily outputs from GCMs from the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and bias correct and downscale them to a 4-km resolution. Through leave-one-out cross-validation, we compare various bias correction methods and identify that the empirical quantile mapping approach performs the best regardless of the climate variable. Then, we analyse the projected bias-corrected outputs for two future periods (Mid-of-Century: 2015–2048; End-of-Century: 2067–2100) with respect to the 1981–2014 period, under four shared socioeconomic pathway scenarios (SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5). Our results show that Arizona s climate is projected to become overall warmer and wetter, more so towards the end of this century and for higher emission scenarios. Additionally, our findings project an increase in wet bulb temperature and cooling degree days, implying the ongoing warming climate s potential impacts on public health and the economy. These results provide a baseline understanding of climate change impacts in the state and highlight the projected changes in the future in response to the climate scenarios.
International Journal of Climatology