A Markov chain method for weighting climate model ensembles

Kulinich, Max; Fan, Yanan; Penev, Spiridon; Evans, Jason P.; Olson, Roman

Climate change is typically modeled using sophisticated mathematical models (climate models) of physical processes that range in temporal and spatial scales. Multi-model ensemble means of climate models show better correlation with the observations than any of the models separately. Currently, an open research question is how climate models can be combined to create an ensemble mean in an optimal way. We present a novel stochastic approach based on Markov chains to estimate model weights in order to obtain ensemble means. The method was compared to existing alternatives by measuring its performance on training and validation data, as well as model-as-truth experiments. The Markov chain method showed improved performance over those methods when measured by the root mean squared error in validation and comparable performance in model-as-truth experiments. The results of this comparative analysis should serve to motivate further studies in applications of Markov chain and other nonlinear methods that address the issues of finding optimal model weight for constructing ensemble means.

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Kulinich, Max / Fan, Yanan / Penev, Spiridon / et al: A Markov chain method for weighting climate model ensembles. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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