Global Climate Models (GCMs) are the primary tool to simulate climate evolution and assess the impacts of climate change. However, they often operate at a coarse spatial resolution that limits their accuracy in reproducing local-scale phenomena. Statistical downscaling methods leveraging deep learning offer a solution to this problem by approximating local-scale climate fields from coarse variables, thus enabling regional GCM projections. Typically, climate fields of different variables of interest are downscaled independently, resulting in violations of fundamental physical properties across interconnected variables. This study investigates the scope of this problem and, through an application on temperature, lays the foundation for a framework introducing multi-variable hard constraints that guarantees physical relationships between groups of downscaled climate variables.
Recently, deep learning has emerged as a promising tool for statistical downscaling, the set of methods for generating high-resolution climate fields from coarse low-resolution variables. Nevertheless, their ability to generalize to climate change conditions remains questionable, mainly due to the stationarity assumption. We propose deep ensembles as a simple method to improve the uncertainty quantification of statistical downscaling models. By better capturing uncertainty, statistical downscaling models allow for superior planning against extreme weather events, a source of various negative social and economic impacts. Since no observational future data exists, we rely on a pseudo reality experiment to assess the suitability of deep ensembles for quantifying the uncertainty of climate change projections. Deep ensembles allow for a better risk assessment, highly demanded by sectoral applications to tackle climate change.
* Accepted at the ICLR 2023 Tackling Climate Change with Machine
Deep Learning has recently emerged as a perfect prognosis downscaling technique to compute high-resolution fields from large-scale coarse atmospheric data. Despite their promising results to reproduce the observed local variability, they are based on the estimation of independent distributions at each location, which leads to deficient spatial structures, especially when downscaling precipitation. This study proposes the use of generative models to improve the spatial consistency of the high-resolution fields, very demanded by some sectoral applications (e.g., hydrology) to tackle climate change.
* Accepted at the NeurIPS 2021 Tackling Climate Change with Machine
Deep learning (DL) has emerged as a promising tool to downscale climate projections at regional-to-local scales from large-scale atmospheric fields following the perfect-prognosis (PP) approach. Given their complexity, it is crucial to properly evaluate these methods, especially when applied to changing climatic conditions where the ability to extrapolate/generalise is key. In this work, we intercompare several DL models extracted from the literature for the same challenging use-case (downscaling temperature in the CORDEX North America domain) and expand standard evaluation methods building on eXplainable artifical intelligence (XAI) techniques. We show how these techniques can be used to unravel the internal behaviour of these models, providing new evaluation dimensions and aiding in their diagnostic and design. These results show the usefulness of incorporating XAI techniques into statistical downscaling evaluation frameworks, especially when working with large regions and/or under climate change conditions.
* Under review for Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems