Machine-Learning-Based Downscaling of Hourly ERA5-Land Air Temperature over Mountainous Regions - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Atmosphere Year : 2023

Machine-Learning-Based Downscaling of Hourly ERA5-Land Air Temperature over Mountainous Regions


In mountainous regions, the scarcity of air temperature (Ta) measurements is a major limitation for hydrological and crop monitoring. An alternative to in situ measurements could be to downscale the reanalysis Ta data provided at high-temporal resolution. However, the relatively coarse spatial resolution of these products (i.e., 9 km for ERA5-Land) is unlikely to be directly representative of actual local Ta patterns. To address this issue, this study presents a new spatial downscaling strategy of hourly ERA5-Land Ta data with a three-step procedure. First, the 9 km resolution ERA5 Ta is corrected at its original resolution by using a reference Ta derived from the elevation of the 9 km resolution grid and an in situ estimate over the area of the hourly Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR). Such a correction of 9 km resolution ERA5 Ta is trained using several machine learning techniques, including Multiple Linear Regression (MLR), Support Vector Regression (SVR), and Extreme Gradient Boosting (Xgboost), as well as ancillary ERA5 data (daily mean, standard deviation, hourly ELR, and grid elevation). Next, the trained correction algorithms are run to correct 9 km resolution ERA5 Ta, and the corrected ERA5 Ta data are used to derive an updated ELR over the area (without using in situ Ta measurements). Third, the updated hourly ELR is used to disaggregate 9 km resolution corrected ERA5 Ta data at the 30-meter resolution of SRTM’s Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The effectiveness of this method is assessed across the northern part of the High Atlas Mountains in central Morocco through (1) k-fold cross-validation against five years (2016 to 2020) of in situ hourly temperature readings and (2) comparison with classical downscaling methods based on a constant ELR. Our results indicate a significant enhancement in the spatial distribution of hourly local Ta. By comparing our model, which included Xgboost, SVR, and MLR, with the constant ELR-based downscaling approach, we were able to decrease the regional root mean square error from approximately 3 ∘C to 1.61 ∘C, 1.75 ∘C, and 1.8 ∘C, reduce the mean bias error from −0.5 ∘C to null, and increase the coefficient of determination from 0.88 to 0.97, 0.96, and 0.96 for Xgboost, SVR, and MLR, respectively.
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hal-04296516 , version 1 (20-11-2023)



Badr-Eddine Sebbar, Saïd Khabba, Olivier Merlin, Vincent Simonneaux, Chouaib El Hachimi, et al.. Machine-Learning-Based Downscaling of Hourly ERA5-Land Air Temperature over Mountainous Regions. Atmosphere, 2023, 14 (4), pp.610. ⟨10.3390/atmos14040610⟩. ⟨hal-04296516⟩
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