Projected Future Changes in Rainfall in Southeast Asia Based on CORDEX–SEA Multi-Model Simulations

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This paper examines the projected changes in rainfall in Southeast Asia (SEA) in the twenty-first century based on the multi-model simulations of the Southeast Asia Regional Climate Downscaling/Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment–Southeast Asia (SEACLID/CORDEX–SEA). A total of 11 General Circulation Models (GCMs) have been downscaled using 7 Regional Climate Models (RCMs) to a resolution of 25 km × 25 km over the SEA domain (89.5° E–146.5° E, 14.8° S–27.0° N) for two different representative concentration pathways (RCP) scenarios, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The 1976–2005 period is considered as the historical period for evaluating the changes in seasonal precipitation of December–January–February (DJF) and June–July–August (JJA) over future periods of the early (2011–2040), mid (2041–2070) and late twenty-first century (2071–2099). The ensemble mean shows a good reproduction of the SEA climatological mean spatial precipitation pattern with systematic wet biases, which originated largely from simulations using the RegCM4 model. Increases in mean rainfall (10–20%) are projected throughout the twenty-first century over Indochina and eastern Philippines during DJF while a drying tendency prevails over the Maritime Continent. For JJA, projections of both RCPs indicate reductions in mean rainfall (10–30%) over the Maritime Continent, particularly over the Indonesian region by mid and late twenty-first century. However, examination of individual member responses shows prominent inter-model variations, reflecting uncertainty in the projections.