Improved point scale climate projections using a block bootstrap simulation and quantile matching method
Statistical downscaling methods are commonly used to address the scale mismatch between coarse resolution Global Climate Model output and the regional or local scales required for climate change impact assessments. The effectiveness of a downscaling method can be measured against four broad criteria: consistency with the existing baseline data in terms of means, trends and distributional characteristics; consistency with the broader scale climate data used to generate the projections; the degree of transparency and repeatability; and the plausibility of results produced. Many existing downscaling methods fail to fulfil all of these criteria. In this paper we examine a block bootstrap simulation technique combined with a quantile prediction and matching method for simulating future daily climate data. By utilising this method the distributional properties of the projected data will be influenced by the distribution of the observed data, the trends in predictors derived from the Global Climate Models and the relationship of these predictors to the observed data. Using observed data from several climate stations in Vanuatu and Fiji and out-of-sample validation techniques, we show that the method is successful at projecting various climate characteristics including the variability and auto-correlation of daily temperature and rainfall, the correlations between these variables and between spatial locations. This paper also illustrates how this novel method can produce more effective point scale projections and a more credible alternative to other approaches in the Pacific region. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.