Future climate of the Caribbean from a super-high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model

Present-day (1979–2003) and future (2075–2099) simulations of mean and extreme rainfall and temperature are examined using data from the Meteorological Research Institute super-high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model. Analyses are performed over the 20-km model grid for (1) a main Caribbean basin, (2) sub-regional zones, and (3) specific Caribbean islands. Though the model’s topography underestimates heights over the eastern Caribbean, it captures well the present-day spatial and temporal variations of seasonal and annual climates. Temperature underestimations range from 0.1 °C to 2 °C with respect to the Japanese Reanalysis and the Climatic Research Unit datasets. The model also captures fairly well sub-regional scale variations in the rainfall climatology. End-of-century projections under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change SRES A1B scenario indicate declines in rainfall amounts by 10–20 % for most of the Caribbean during the early (May–July) and late (August–October) rainy seasons relative to the 1979–2003 baselines. The early dry season (November–January) is also projected to get wetter in the far north and south Caribbean by approximately 10 %. The model also projects a warming of 2–3 °C over the Caribbean region. Analysis of future climate extremes indicate a 5–10 % decrease in the simple daily precipitation intensity but no significant change in the number of consecutive dry days for Cuba, Jamaica, southern Bahamas, and Haiti. There is also indication that the number of hot days and nights will significantly increase over the main Caribbean basin.

Associated spaces

Bahamas , Jamaica

Something wrong with this information? Report errors here.