Downscaling Portal

Downscaling Portal

Allowing end-users to automatically obtain regional climate change projectons from global simulations with statistical downscaling methods

Downscaling is nowadays a mature and complex multi-disciplinary field involving a cascade of different scientific tools to access and process large amounts of heterogeneous data. Therefore, interactive user-friendly tools are necessary in order to ease the downscaling process for end users, thus maximizing the exploitation of the available predictions. The Downscaling Portal (DP) has been designed, in collaboration with the Santander Meteorology Group, following an end-to-end approach in order to transparently connect data providers and end users. To this aim, Internet and distributed computing technologies have been combined together with statistical tools to directly downscale GCM outputs to the regional or local scale required by impact applications. Thus, users can test and validate online different downscaling methods (regression, neural networks, analogs, weather typing, etc.) using a web browser, not worrying about the details of the techniques used or the data accessed.

Key features

User friendly
Web based
Robust
Portable

Description

The first version of the portal was released in the Ensembles Project (EU 6th FP). It was considered one of the mayor achievements in the Ensembles Project keeping nowadays an active community of users. One of the consequences has been the use of the DP in other EU 7th framework projects for climate change impact studies in fire (FUME), health (QweCI) and some other proposals. There are also projects for regional and local stakeholder agencies and for crop modelling (FAO contract). The first version was developed by the Santander Meteorology Group while the current operational version (version 2) is a complete reimplementation developed with the technical assistance of Predictia.

Focus on the ease of use

The portal has been developed while maintaining ease of use as a priority. The downscaling experiment definition process is divided into three steps:
  • Predictor: Definition of the region and predictors to be used in the experiment
  • Predictand: Definition of one or several predictands of interest to be downscaled in this experiment (i.e. with this particular configuration of predictors).
  • Downscaling method: Definition and validation of one or several downscaling methods to be applied in the experiment (i.e. linking the predictors to the different predictands).
  • Once the Predictor > Predictand > Downscaling Method chain of tasks has been completed, the downscaling methods will be ready to downscale the control and future scenarios of any of the available GCMs.
  • Predictor: Definition of the region and predictors to be used in the experiment
  • Predictand: Definition of one or several predictands of interest to be downscaled in this experiment (i.e. with this particular configuration of predictors).
  • Downscaling method: Definition and validation of one or several downscaling methods to be applied in the experiment (i.e. linking the predictors to the different predictands).
  • Once the Predictor > Predictand > Downscaling Method chain of tasks has been completed, the downscaling methods will be ready to downscale the control and future scenarios of any of the available GCMs.

References

Articles and technical notes describing the Downscaling Portal functionalities:
  • Downscaling Portal user guide. Gutiérrez, J.M., San-Martín, D., Cofiño, A.S., Herrera, S., Manzanas, R., and Frías, M.D. (2012) User Guide of the ENSEMBLES Downscaling Portal. Version 3. Technical Note 2/2012. Santander Meteorology Group. Santander
  • The ENSEMBLES Statistical Downscaling Portal. An End-to-End Tool for Regional Impact Studies. San-Martín, D., Cofiño, A.S., Herrera, S., Gutiérrez, J.M. Environmental Modelling and Software Journal, 2008
  • The statistical downscaling web portal. An end-to-end tool for regional projection. Gutiérrez, J.M., San-Martín, D., Cofiño, A.S., Sordo, C.M., Fernández, J., Frías, M.D., Rodríguez, M.A., Herrera, S., Ancell, R., Pons, M.R., Orfila, B., Díez, E. ENSEMBLES/AMMA Workshop, 2008

    Case study: FAO

    An adapted version of DP is currently being used in MOSAICC (for MOdelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change). MOSAICC is a system, developed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), that combines several models and utilities designed to carry out inter-disciplinary climate change impact assessment on agriculture through simulations. The main components of the system are one statistical downscaling portal to downscale Global Circulation Models (GCM) data to weather stations networks, one hydrological model for estimating water resources for irrigation in major basins, two water balance-based crop models to simulate crop yields under climate change scenarios and finally one Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE) to assess the effect of changing yields on national economies. See more information here.

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