IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

Central Asia and Tibet

Due to the complex topography and the associated mesoscale weather systems of the high-altitude and arid areas, GCMs typically perform poorly over the region. Importantly, the GCMs, and to a lesser extent RCMs, tend to overestimate the precipitation over arid and semi-arid areas in the north (e.g., Small et al., 1999; Gao et al., 2001; Elguindi and Giorgi, 2006).

Over Tibet, the few available RCM simulations generally exhibit improved performance in the simulation of present-day climate compared to GCMs (e.g., Gao et al., 2003a,b; Zhang et al., 2005b). For example, the GCM simulation of Gao et al. (2003a) overestimated the precipitation over the north-western Tibetan Plateau by a factor of five to six, while in an RCM nested in this model, the overestimate was less than a factor of two.