The 11-member RCM has many advantages:
- Projections at a higher resolution than a global climate model
The RCM provides projections at a higher spatial resolution than UKCIP02 (previous future climate change information). The 25 km resolution that is used by UKCP09 and the 11-member RCM is of particular use when there are significant regional influences on the climate. These influences could include topographical features such as mountains, coastlines and variations in the land-surface type.
- An improved representation of climate variability
Due to the improved spatial resolution of the RCM, it allows improved representation of small scale meteorological processes. This in turn provides greater skill in representing regional climate extremes (such as local precipitation events).
- Continuous (transient) climate projections
The RCM provides continuous (transient) projections from 1950–2099 while the UKCP09 projections provide projections of stationary 30-year climates. It is the continuous nature of the RCM information that allows users to investigate trends in the projections.
- Daily data
The RCM data provides daily information for a large number of variables for all 25 km grid boxes. Daily information can also be gained from the UKCP09 Weather Generator, whereas the UKCP09 probabilistic projections provide information as monthly averages.
- Grid squares that are spatially and temporally coherent
This means that, unlike the UKCP09 probabilistic projections, users can aggregate daily data from a number of grid squares to form a larger physically plausible area. Spatial and temporal coherency also allows users to model impacts that fall over a number of grid squares, such as modelling flow in river catchments.
- A larger number of variables
The RCM data provides a larger range of variables than the UKCP09 Weather Generator (the other source of daily information), e.g. projections of wind. See this FAQ for details of the 11-member RCM variables.