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Complex networks for climate model evaluation with application to statistical versus dynamical modeling of South American climate
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.
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2015 (English)In: Climate Dynamics, ISSN 0930-7575, E-ISSN 1432-0894, Vol. 44, no 06-maj, 1567-1581 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study we introduce two new node-weighted difference measures on complex networks as a tool for climate model evaluation. The approach facilitates the quantification of a model's ability to reproduce the spatial covariability structure of climatological time series. We apply our methodology to compare the performance of a statistical and a dynamical regional climate model simulating the South American climate, as represented by the variables 2 m temperature, precipitation, sea level pressure, and geopotential height field at 500 hPa. For each variable, networks are constructed from the model outputs and evaluated against a reference network, derived from the ERA-Interim reanalysis, which also drives the models. We compare two network characteristics, the (linear) adjacency structure and the (nonlinear) clustering structure, and relate our findings to conventional methods of model evaluation. To set a benchmark, we construct different types of random networks and compare them alongside the climate model networks. Our main findings are: (1) The linear network structure is better reproduced by the statistical model statistical analogue resampling scheme (STARS) in summer and winter for all variables except the geopotential height field, where the dynamical model CCLM prevails. (2) For the nonlinear comparison, the seasonal differences are more pronounced and CCLM performs almost as well as STARS in summer (except for sea level pressure), while STARS performs better in winter for all variables.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 44, no 06-maj, 1567-1581 p.
Keyword [en]
Climate model evaluation, Complex networks, South American climate, Network comparison
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116531DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2182-9ISI: 000350364500023OAI: diva2:809459


Available from: 2015-05-04 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-05-04Bibliographically approved

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Donges, Jonathan F.
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Stockholm Resilience Centre
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