Projected Changes in Temperature and Precipitation Over the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean in CMIP6 GCMs

Almazroui, Mansour; Islam, M. Nazrul; Saeed, Fahad; Ismail, Muhammad; Ehsan, Muhammad Azhar; Diallo, Ismaila; O’Brien, Enda; Ashfaq, Moetasim; Martínez-Castro, Daniel; Cavazos, Tereza; Cerezo-Mota, Ruth; Tippett, Michael K.; Gutowski, William J.; Alfaro, Eric J.; Hidalgo, Hugo G.; Vichot-Llano, Alejandro; Campbell, Jayaka D.; Kamil, Shahzad; Rashid, Irfan Ur; Sylla, Mouhamadou Bamba

The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) dataset is used to examine projected changes in temperature and precipitation over the United States (U.S.), Central America and the Caribbean. The changes are computed using an ensemble of 31 models for three future time slices (2021–2040, 2041–2060, and 2080–2099) relative to the reference period (1995–2014) under three Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs; SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, and SSP5-8.5). The CMIP6 ensemble reproduces the observed annual cycle and distribution of mean annual temperature and precipitation with biases between − 0.93 and 1.27 °C and − 37.90 to 58.45%, respectively, for most of the region. However, modeled precipitation is too large over the western and Midwestern U.S. during winter and spring and over the North American monsoon region in summer, while too small over southern Central America. Temperature is projected to increase over the entire domain under all three SSPs, by as much as 6 °C under SSP5-8.5, and with more pronounced increases in the northern latitudes over the regions that receive snow in the present climate. Annual precipitation projections for the end of the twenty-first century have more uncertainty, as expected, and exhibit a meridional dipole-like pattern, with precipitation increasing by 10–30% over much of the U.S. and decreasing by 10–40% over Central America and the Caribbean, especially over the monsoon region. Seasonally, precipitation over the eastern and central subregions is projected to increase during winter and spring and decrease during summer and autumn. Over the monsoon region and Central America, precipitation is projected to decrease in all seasons except autumn. The analysis was repeated on a subset of 9 models with the best performance in the reference period; however, no significant difference was found, suggesting that model bias is not strongly influencing the projections.


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Earth Systems and Environment
Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Published Here
March 13, 2024

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