27 Feb 2023
 | 27 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

CHESS-SCAPE: High resolution future projections of multiple climate scenarios for the United Kingdom derived from downscaled UKCP18 regional climate model output

Emma L. Robinson, Chris Huntingford, Valyaveetil Shamsudheen Semeena, and James M. Bullock

Abstract. In order to effectively model the potential impacts of future climate change, there is a requirement for climate data inputs which are a) high spatial and temporal resolution; b) explore a range of future climate change scenarios; c) are consistent with historical observations in the historical period; and d) provide an exploration of climate model uncertainty. This paper presents a suite of climate projections for the United Kingdom that conform to these requirements: CHESS-SCAPE.

CHESS-SCAPE is a 1 km resolution dataset containing eleven near-surface meteorological variables that can be used to as input to many different impacts models. The variables are available at several time resolutions, from daily to decadal means, for the years 1980–2080. It was derived from the state-of the art regional climate projections in the United Kingdom Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) Regional Climate Model (RCM) UKCP18 12 km ensemble, downscaled to 1 km using a combination of physical and empirical methods to account for local topographic effects. CHESS-SCAPE has four ensemble members, which were chosen to span the range of temperature and precipitation change in the UKCP18 ensemble, representing the ensemble climate model uncertainty.

CHESS-SCAPE consists of projections for four emissions scenarios, given by the Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5, which were derived from the UKCP18 RCM RCP8.5 scenarios using time shifting and pattern scaling. These correspond to UK annual warming projections of between 0.9–1.9 K for RCP2.6 up to 2.8–4.3 K for RCP8.5 between 1980–2000 and 2060–2080. Little change in annual precipitation is projected, but larger changes in seasonal precipitation are seen with some scenarios projecting large increases in precipitation in the winter (up to 22 %) and large decreases in the summer (up to -39 %). All four RCP scenarios and ensemble members are also provided with bias-correction, using the CHESS-met historical gridded dataset as a baseline.

With high spatial and temporal resolution, extensive range of warming scenarios and multiple ensemble members, CHESS-SCAPE provides a comprehensive data resource for modellers of climate change impacts in the UK. The CHESS-SCAPE data are available for download from the NERC EDS Centre for Environmental Data Analysis: (Robinson et al., 2022).

Emma L. Robinson et al.

Status: open (until 24 Apr 2023)

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Emma L. Robinson et al.

Data sets

CHESS-SCAPE: Future projections of meteorological variables at 1 km resolution for the United Kingdom 1980-2080 derived from UK Climate Projections 2018 E. L. Robinson, C. Huntingford, V. S. Semeena, and J. M. Bullock

Emma L. Robinson et al.


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Short summary
CHESS-SCAPE is a suite of high-resolution climate projections for the United Kingdom to 2080, derived from UKCP18 and designed to support climate impacts modelling. It contains four realisations each of four different scenarios of future greenhouse gas levels (RCP2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5), provided with and without bias-correction to historical data. The variables are available at 1 km resolution and daily timestep, with monthly, seasonal and annual means, plus twenty-year mean-monthly timeslices.