CNRCWP Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes
Canada’s territory and the Arctic regions offer distinct challenges to Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate projection, due to complex processes and feedbacks between various components of the climate system. A better understanding of these regional climate processes and interactions is crucial to improving the quality of both climate projection and NWP for this region, and to better interpret and apply model results for use in weather and climate-change impact and adaptation studies.
The aim of the Network is to augment, evaluate and exploit the added value provided by regional models in climate and weather simulations. This added value is afforded as a result of the expected higher resolution, improved representation of physical processes, feedbacks and interactions through a Regional Earth System Model approach.
Over the past decade, the emphasis in climate-change studies has shifted from studying expected changes in the mean climate (mostly temperature and precipitation), to studying changes in the frequency distribution of weather and hydrological variables, including extremes (e.g. Sushama et al., 2010; Mladjic et al., 2011). In many cases climate extremes are simply the statistical footprint of high-impact weather events (e.g. flash floods); in other cases they reflect persistent anomalies (e.g. heat waves, droughts). Credible climate simulations require adequate representation of the weather that constitutes climate; conversely reducing systematic, climatological biases in forecast models is required to improve NWP. It is for this reason that the WCRP promotes ‘seamless prediction’ using models adapted to both NWP and climate simulations.