EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Multivariate Bias Correction of Climate Simulations: an Intercomparison Study

Bastien François1, Mathieu Vrac1, Alex Cannon2, Yoann Robin3, and Denis Allard4
Bastien François et al.
  • 1LSCE, IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France (
  • 2Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victorica, BC, Canada
  • 3CNRM, Météo France – CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 4INRA PACA, Avignon, France

Climate models are the major tools to estimate climate variables evolutions in the future. However, climate simulations often present statistical biases and have to be corrected against observations before being used in impact assessments. Several bias correction (BC) methods have therefore been developed in the literature over the last two decades, in order to adjust simulations according to historical records and obtain climate projections with appropriate statistical attributes. Most of the existing and popular BC methods are univariate, i.e., correcting one physical variable and one location at a time, and thus can fail to reconstruct inter-variable, spatial or temporal dependencies of the observations. These remaining biases in the correction can then affect the subsequent analyses. This has led to further research on multivariate aspects for statistical postprocessing BC methods. Recently, some multivariate bias correction (MBC) methods have been proposed, with different approaches to restore multidimensional dependencies. However, these methods are not well apprehended yet by researchers and practitioners due to differences in their applicability and assumptions, therefore leading potentially to different results. This study is intended to intercompare four existing MBCs to provide end-users with aid in choosing such methods for their applications. For evaluation and illustration purposes, these methods are applied to correct simulation outputs from one climate model through a cross-validation methodology, which allows for the assessment of inter-variable, spatial and temporal criteria. Then, a second methodology is performed for assessing the ability of the MBC methods to account for the multi-dimensional evolutions of the climate model. Additionally, two reference datasets are used to assess the influence of their spatial resolution on (M)BC results. Most of the methods reasonably correct inter-variable and inter-site correlations. However, none of them adjust correctly the temporal structure as they generate bias corrected data with usually weak temporal dependencies compared to observations. Major differences are found concerning the applicability and stability of the methods in high-dimensional contexts, and in their capability to reproduce the multi-dimensional changes of the model. Based on those conclusions, perspectives for MBC developments are suggested, such as methods to adjust not only multivariate correlations but also temporal structures and allowing to account for multi-dimensional evolutions of the model in the correction.

How to cite: François, B., Vrac, M., Cannon, A., Robin, Y., and Allard, D.: Multivariate Bias Correction of Climate Simulations: an Intercomparison Study, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13752,, 2020.


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