Combining interdependent climate model outputs in CMIP5: A spatial Bayesian approach

12/31/2019 ∙ by Huang Huang, et al. ∙ 0

Projections of future climate change rely heavily on climate models, and combining climate models through a multi-model ensemble is both more accurate than a single climate model and valuable for uncertainty quantification. However, Bayesian approaches to multi-model ensembles have been criticized for making oversimplified assumptions about bias and variability, as well as treating different models as statistically independent. This paper extends the Bayesian hierarchical approach of Sansom et al. (2017) by explicitly accounting for spatial variability and inter-model dependence. We propose a Bayesian hierarchical model that accounts for bias between climate models and observations, spatial and inter-model dependence, the emergent relationship between historical and future periods, and natural variability. Extensive simulations show that our model provides better estimates and uncertainty quantification than the commonly used simple model mean. These results are illustrated using data from the CMIP5 model archive. As examples, for Central North America our projected mean temperature for 2070-2100 is about 0.6 K lower than the simple model mean, while for East Asia it is 0.35-0.9 K higher; however, in both cases, the widths of the 90 order 4-7 K, so the uncertainties overwhelm the relatively small differences in projected mean temperatures.

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