188.8.131.52 Intercomparison of Downscaling Methods
At the time of the TAR, SD methods were viewed as a complementary technique to RCMs for downscaling regional climate, each approach having distinctive strengths and weaknesses. The conclusion of the TAR that SD methods and RCMs are comparable for simulating current climate still holds.
Since the TAR, a few additional studies have systematically compared the SD and RCM approaches (e.g., Huth et al., 2001; Hanssen-Bauer et al., 2003, 2005; Wood et al., 2004, Busuioc et al., 2006; Haylock et al., 2006; Schmidli et al., 2006). These related mainly to the similarity of the climate change signal (e.g., Hanssen-Bauer et al., 2003). A more complex study considered additional information about the RCM skill in simulating the current regional climate features and reproducing the connection between large- and regional-scale patterns used for fitting the SD method (Busuioc et al., 2006). Other studies following the STARDEX project (e.g., Haylock et al., 2006; Schmidli et al., 2006) compared the two approaches in terms of their skill in reproducing current climate features, as well as in terms of the climate change signal derived from their outputs, focusing on climate extremes and complex topography processes over Europe.