A new open source neural network temporal downscaling model is described and tested using CRU-NCEP reanal-ysis and CCSM3 climate model output. We downscaled multiple meteorological variables in tandem from monthly to sub-daily time steps while also retaining consistent correlations between variables. We found that our feed forward, error backpropagation approach produced synthetic 6 hourly meteorology with biases no greater than 0.6% across all variables and variance that was accurate within 1% for all variables except atmospheric pressure, wind speed, and precipitation. Correlations between downscaled output and the expected (original) monthly means exceeded 0.99 for all variables, which indicates that this approach would work well for generating atmospheric forcing data consistent with mass and energy conserved GCM output. Our neural network approach performed well for variables that had correlations to other variables of about 0.3 and better and its skill was increased by downscaling multiple correlated variables together. Poor replication of precipitation intensity however required further post-processing in order to obtain the expected probability distribution. The concurrence of precipitation events with expected changes in subordinate variables (e.g., less incident shortwave radiation during precipitation events) were nearly as consistent in the downscaled data as in the training data with probabilities that differed by no more than 6%. Our downscaling approach requires training data at the target time step and relies on a weak assumption that climate variability in the extrapolated data is similar to variability in the training data. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Kumar, J., Brooks, B. G. J., Thornton, P. E., & Dietze, M. C. (2012). Sub-daily statistical downscaling of meteorological variables using neural networks. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 9, pp. 887–896). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2012.04.095