The Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) is a program sponsored by World Climate Research Program (WCRP) to develop an improved framework for generating regional-scale climate projections for impact assessment and adaptation studies worldwide within the IPCC AR5 timeline and beyond. The program consists of several subcomponents: Development of a framework for evaluating downscaling methodologies; develop improved downscaling techniques, both statistical and dynamical; and promote interactions among global climate modelers, downscaling modelers, and assessment community who assess the impact of climate change on specific sectors using the downscaled data. An essential component of CORDEX is the evaluation of multiple regional models for a 20-year (1989-2007) hindcast period with the lateral boundary forcing obtained from ERA-Interim reanalysis. These evaluations are critical to characterizing the strengths and weaknesses of these models for their use in producing future projections regional climate change where the lateral boundary forcing is provided by multiple GCMs and emissions scenarios from the CMIP5 archive.

Fig 1. Map of the CORDEX domains.


Multiple regional model domains covering most of land areas in the world have been selected for CORDEX (see figure above). These regions take advantage of existing regional projects such as North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP), Ensemble-Based Predictions of Climate Changes and Their Impacts (ENSEMBLES), and Climate Change Assessment and Impact Studies (CLARIS) so that ongoing and planned regional climate projection programs can be incorporated for as many regions as possible. The RCMES team has established a number of collaborative ties to the various components of CORDEX. This includes participating in WCRP's Workshop On Regional Climate Modeling, the International Conference on the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment - CORDEX (March 2011, Trieste, Italy), the International Workshop on CORDEX-East Asia (22-23 September 2011, Seogwipo, Republic of Korea), the ADSIMNOR-CORDEX workshop on Arctic climate modeling results and needs (20-21 March 2012), the International Conference Regional Climate - CORDEX (4-7 Novermber 2013), Brussels, Belgium, and the 3rd Lund Regional-Scale Climate Modeling Workshop (16-19 June 2014), Lund, Sweden.  Arising from these and a number of related interactions, RCMES is being utilized in collaborative evaluations of the RCMET's contributing to CORDEX - Africa, CORDEX - S. Asia, CORDEX E. Asia, CORDEX - Middle East & North Africa (MENA), CORDEX S. & C. America, and CORDEX- N. America (see NARCCAP collaboration page). In addition, we are exploring the use of RCMES for, and developing partnerships with the CORDEX - Arctic domain. CORDEX collaborators include or have included:

  • Colin Jones, CORDEX, previous co-chair, now at UK Met Office, previously at Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.
  • Bill Gutowski, CORDEX, co-chair, Iowa State University.
  • Bruce Hewitson Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town.
  • Linda Mearns NCARRCAP / CORDEX N. America Science and Program Lead, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Multi-Model/Domain Evaluation of CORDEX Simulations Using obs4MIPs

RCMES put a call out to the CORDEX domains to build a closer cross-domain CORDEX community around the theme of observation based model evaluation, utilizing in this case mostly NASA observations, and stressing the utility and connections to obs4MIPs and ana4MIPs. These objectives resonated strongly with CORDEX’s overall and domain leadership (see "Flagship Pilot Studies"). The analysis for this project is underway, with results provided on our CORDEX-Evaluation page with tutorial information provided on our Tutorials Overview page.