Almagro, A., Oliveira, P.T.S., Rosolem, R., Hagemann, S., & Nobre, C.A. (2020): Performance evaluation of Eta/HadGEM2-ES and Eta/MIROC5 precipitation simulations over Brazil. Atmospheric Research, Volume 244, 105053, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105053
Climate change effects can have significant impacts worldwide. Extreme events can modify water availability and agricultural production, making climate change planning an essential task. The National Institute for Space Research (INPE in Portuguese) in Brazil has made a large dataset of regional climate model outputs (simulations and projections) available, which opens up many possibilities of carrying out high-resolution climate change studies. However, there is still no performance evaluation of the model-derived rainfall output against high-resolution ground-based observation data considering the Brazilian biomes. This paper attempts to fill this gap and evaluates the simulated precipitation throughout Brazil. We used gridded observed precipitation data and historical climate simulations from the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, version 5 (MIROC5) and from the Hadley Center Global Environment Model, version 2 (HadGEM2-ES), which were downscaled by the Eta RCM (Regional Climate Model). For the overlapping period (1980–2005), there is good agreement (PBIAS up to 10%) of downscaled annual simulations for the Amazon and Cerrado biomes and large biases (reaching 40%) in the Pampa biome, compared to the observations. Our results showed that HadGEM2-ES is capable of representing long-term mean monthly precipitation for large areas well, such as the Amazon and Cerrado. Furthermore, the Eta RCM has considerably improved the driving GCM MIROC5 simulations. In conclusion, we recommend using the HadGEM2-ES simulations for the Amazon, Eta/HadGEM2-ES for the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Pampa, and Eta/MIROC5 for the Caatinga and Pantanal. Our study provides an overview of two downscaled simulation datasets in Brazil that may help verify the models‘ suitability for further climate change assessments.