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Shuang Yu
,
Indrasis Chakraborty
,
Gemma J. Anderson
,
Donald D. Lucas
,
Yannic Lops
, and
Daniel Galea

Abstract

Precipitation values produced by climate models are biased due to the parameterization of physical processes and limited spatial resolution. Current bias correction approaches usually focus on correcting lower-order statistics (mean, standard deviation), which make it difficult to capture precipitation extremes. However, accurate modeling of extremes is critical for policymaking to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. We develop a deep learning framework, leveraging information from key dynamical variables impacting precipitation to also match higher-order statistics (skewness and kurtosis) for the entire precipitation distribution, including extremes. The deep learning framework consists of a two-part architecture: a U-Net convolutional network to capture the spatiotemporal distribution of precipitation and a fully connected network to capture the distribution of higher-order statistics. The joint network, termed UFNet, can simultaneously improve the spatial structure of the modeled precipitation and capture the distribution of extreme precipitation values. Using climate model simulation data and observations that are climatologically similar but not strictly paired, the UFNet identifies and corrects the climate model biases, significantly improving the estimation of daily precipitation as measured by a broad range of spatiotemporal statistics. In particular, UFNet significantly improves the underestimation of extreme precipitation values seen with current bias-correction methods. Our approach constitutes a generalized framework for correcting other climate model variables which improves the accuracy of the climate model predictions, while utilizing a simpler and more stable training process.

Open access
Maria J. Molina
,
Travis A. O’Brien
,
Gemma Anderson
,
Moetasim Ashfaq
,
Katrina E. Bennett
,
William D. Collins
,
Katherine Dagon
,
Juan M. Restrepo
, and
Paul A. Ullrich

Abstract

Climate variability and weather phenomena can cause extremes and pose significant risk to society and ecosystems, making continued advances in our physical understanding of such events of utmost importance for regional and global security. Advances in machine learning (ML) have been leveraged for applications in climate variability and weather, empowering scientists to approach questions using big data in new ways. Growing interest across the scientific community in these areas has motivated coordination between the physical and computer science disciplines to further advance the state of the science and tackle pressing challenges. During a recently held workshop that had participants across academia, private industry, and research laboratories, it became clear that a comprehensive review of recent and emerging ML applications for climate variability and weather phenomena that can cause extremes was needed. This article aims to fulfill this need by discussing recent advances, challenges, and research priorities in the following topics: sources of predictability for modes of climate variability, feature detection, extreme weather and climate prediction and precursors, observation–model integration, downscaling, and bias correction. This article provides a review for domain scientists seeking to incorporate ML into their research. It also provides a review for those with some ML experience seeking to broaden their knowledge of ML applications for climate variability and weather.

Open access