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Open AccessArticle

A Markov Chain-Based Bias Correction Method for Simulating the Temporal Sequence of Daily Precipitation

by Han Liu 1,2, Jie Chen 1,2,*, Xun-Chang Zhang 3, Chong-Yu Xu 4 and Yu Hui 5
1
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Hubei Key Laboratory of Water System Science for Sponge City Construction (Wuhan University), Wuhan 430010, China
3
USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Lab., 7207 West Cheyenne St., E1 Reno, OK 73036, USA
4
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O, Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
5
Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research, Wuhan 430010, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010109
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Data for Agricultural Applications: Downscaling and Scenarios)
Bias correction methods are routinely used to correct climate model outputs for hydrological and agricultural impact studies. Even though superior bias correction methods can correct the distribution of daily precipitation amounts, as well as the wet-day frequency, they usually fail to correct the temporal sequence or structure of precipitation occurrence. To solve this problem, we presented a hybrid bias correction method for simulating the temporal sequence of daily precipitation occurrence. We did this by combining a first-order two-state Markov chain with a quantile-mapping (QM) based bias correction method. Specifically, a QM-based method was used to correct the distributional attributes of daily precipitation amounts and the wet-day frequency simulated by climate models. Then, the sequence of precipitation occurrence was simulated using the first-order two-state Markov chain with its parameters adjusted based on linear relationships between QM-corrected mean monthly precipitation and the transition probabilities of precipitation occurrence. The proposed Markov chain-based bias correction (MCBC) method was compared with the QM-based method with respect to reproducing the temporal structure of precipitation occurrence over 10 meteorological stations across China. The results showed that the QM-based method was unable to correct the temporal sequence, with the cumulative frequency of wet- and dry-spell length being considerably underestimated for most stations. The MCBC method can could reproduce the temporal sequence of precipitation occurrence, with the generated cumulative frequency of wet- and dry-spell lengths fitting that of the observation well. The proposed method also performed reasonably well with respect to reproducing the mean, standard deviation, and the longest length of observed wet- and dry-spells. Overall, the MCBC method can simulate the temporal sequence of precipitation occurrence, along with correcting the distributional attributes of precipitation amounts. This method can be used with crop and hydrological models in climate change impact studies at the field and small watershed scales. View Full-Text
Keywords: bias correction; precipitation occurrence; Markov chain; climate change bias correction; precipitation occurrence; Markov chain; climate change
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Liu, H.; Chen, J.; Zhang, X.-C.; Xu, C.-Y.; Hui, Y. A Markov Chain-Based Bias Correction Method for Simulating the Temporal Sequence of Daily Precipitation. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 109.

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