The Hadley Centre has developed a regional climate model (RCM) that can be run on a PC and can be applied easily to any area of the globe to generate detailed climate change predictions. The intention is to make this modelling system, PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies), freely available to groups of developing countries so that climate change scenarios can be developed at national centres of expertise.
Regional climate models have a much higher resolution than global climate models and as a result provide climate information with useful local detail including realistic extreme events. Predictions using regional climate models will thus lead to substantially improved assessments of a country's vulnerability to climate change and how it can adapt.
This brochure describes regional climate models and the advantages that they have over global models for providing scenarios of future climate change. It then describes PRECIS, the Hadley Centre regional climate modelling system. PRECIS runs on a PC and comprises an RCM which can be located over any area of the globe, simple interfaces to allow the user to set up and run the RCM and software (still being developed) to allow display and processing of RCM output. This is followed by sections on the current limitations on the use of RCMs and work planned to overcome these. Finally, three case studies (1 for the Indian Subcontinent, and 2 for southern Africa) are presented demonstrating the use of the RCM and the climate scenarios it provides.
Meteorological Office, Hadley Centre, Bracknell, UK, 17 pp.