Assessment of CMIP3-CMIP5 Climate Models Precipitation Projection and Implication of Flood Vulnerability of Bangkok


Reliable estimates of precipitation are essential for both research and practical applications. CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate simulations provide both historical simulations and future projections of extreme climate. The 2011 monsoon season was one of case studies with exceptionally heavy and led to extensive and long-lasting flooding in the Chao Phraya river basin, Thailand. Flooding was exacerbated by the rapid expansion of urban areas into flood plains and was the costliest natural disaster in the country’s history, with direct damages estimated at US$45 billion. The present paper focuses on the precipitation downscaling of CMIP3 and CMIP5 models. The majority of CMIP3 and CMIP5 models overestimate the dry spell (in June and July) and underestimate the peak precipitation (in May and September). The interquartile model range for precipitation, which is spanned by the 25th and 75th quantiles, is closer to the observed data for CMIP5 than CMIP3 models. However, overall results suggest that the performance of CMIP5 models cannot be readily distinguished from of CMIP3 models, although there are clear signals of improvements over Bangkok. The correlation coefficient is found between 0.6 - 0.8, implying that most of the models simulate the mean rainfall reasonably well. Both model generations have approximately the same standard deviation as observed, but more spatial variability and more RMS error are found for the future projections. Use of the Multi Model mean shows continuously increased rainfall from the near future to the far future while the Multi Model Median shows increased rainfall only for the far future. These findings in changing precipitation are discussed through the flood behavior in 2011. Results from flood simulation with several adaptation measures reveal that flood cannot be completely avoided. One of the best practices for highflood risk communities is to raise the house with open space in the first floor.

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Supharatid, S. (2015) Assessment of CMIP3-CMIP5 Climate Models Precipitation Projection and Implication of Flood Vulnerability of Bangkok. American Journal of Climate Change, 4, 140-162. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2015.41011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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