A Novel Bias Correction Method for Extreme Events
When one is using climate simulation outputs, one critical issue to consider is the systematic bias affecting the modelled data. The bias correction of modelled data is often used when one is using impact models to assess the effect of climate events on human activities. However, the efficacy of most of the currently available methods is reduced in the case of extreme events because of the limited number of data for these low probability and high impact events.
In this study, a novel bias correction methodology is proposed, which corrects the bias of extreme events. To do so, we extended one of the most popular bias correction techniques, i.e., quantile mapping (QM), by improving the description of extremes through a generalised extreme value distribution (GEV) fitting. The technique was applied to the daily mean temperature and total precipitation data from three seasonal forecasting systems: SEAS5, System7 and GCFS2.1. The bias correction efficiency was tested over the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, which includes 15 Southern African countries. The performance was verified by comparing each of the three models with a reference dataset, the ECMWF reanalysis ERA5.
The results reveal that this novel technique significantly reduces the systematic biases in the forecasting models, yielding further improvements over the classic QM. For both the mean temperature and total precipitation, the bias correction produces a decrease in the Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) and in the bias between the simulated and the reference data. After bias correcting the data, the ensemble forecasts members that correctly predict the temperature extreme increases. On the other hand, the number of members identifying precipitation extremes decreases after the bias correction.