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Open AccessArticle

Simulating Canadian Arctic Climate at Convection-Permitting Resolution

Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current affiliation: Canadian Meteorological Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, QC H9P 1J3, Canada.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 430;
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
PDF [11559 KB, uploaded 26 July 2019]


Inadequate representation and parameterization of sub-grid scale features and processes are one of the main sources for uncertainties in regional climate change projections, particularly for the Arctic regions where the climate change signal is amplified. Increasing model resolution to a couple of kilometers will be helpful in resolving some of these challenges, for example to better simulate convection and refined land heterogeneity and thus land–atmosphere interactions. A set of multi-year simulations has been carried out for the Canadian Arctic domain at 12 km and 3 km resolutions using limited-area version of the global environmental multi-scale (GEM) model. The model is integrated for five years driven by the fifth generation of the European Centre for medium-range weather forecast reanalysis (ERA-5) at the lateral boundaries. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of horizontal model resolution on the simulated surface climate variables. Results indicate that although some aspects of the seasonal mean values are deteriorated at times, substantial improvements are noted in the higher resolution simulation. The representation of extreme precipitation events during summer and the simulation of winter temperature are better captured in the convection-permitting simulation. Moreover, the observed temperature–extreme precipitation scaling is realistically reproduced by the higher resolution simulation. These results advocate for the use of convective-permitting resolution models for simulating future climate projections over the Arctic to support climate impact assessment studies such as those related to engineering applications and where high spatial and temporal resolution are beneficial. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arctic; convection permitting; regional climate model; temperature–extreme precipitation scaling; climate Arctic; convection permitting; regional climate model; temperature–extreme precipitation scaling; climate

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Diro, G.T.; Sushama, L. Simulating Canadian Arctic Climate at Convection-Permitting Resolution. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 430.

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