Global climate models (ESMs or GCMs) can provide climate information on scales of around 1000 by 1000 km (with grid resolution of 100’s of km) covering what could be a vastly differing landscape (from very mountainous to flat coastal plains for example) with greatly varying potential for floods, droughts or other extreme events. Regional Climate Models (RCM) and Empirical Statistical Downscaling (ESD), applied over a limited area and driven by global models can provide information on much smaller scales supporting more detailed impact and adaptation assessment and planning, which is vital in many vulnerable regions.
The WCRP (World Climate Research Programme) views regional downscaling as both an important research topic and an opportunity to engage a broader community of climate scientists in its activities. CORDEX has served as a catalyst to achieve this goal. The CORDEX vision is to advance and coordinate the science and application of regional climate downscaling through global partnerships. CORDEX’s goals are:
1. To better understand relevant regional/local climate phenomena, their variability and changes, through downscaling.
2. To evaluate and improve regional climate downscaling models and techniques
3. To produce coordinated sets of regional downscaled projections worldwide
4. To foster communication and knowledge exchange with users of regional climate information