Investigating two super-resolution methods for downscaling precipitation: ESRGAN and CAR (Papers Track)

Campbell Watson (IBM); Chulin Wang (Northwestern University); Tim Lynar (University of New South Wales); Komminist Weldemariam (IBM Research)

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Ecosystems & Biodiversity


In an effort to provide optimal inputs to downstream modeling systems (e.g., a hydrodynamics model that simulates the water circulation of a lake), we hereby strive to enhance resolution of precipitation fields from a weather model by up to 9x. We test two super-resolution models: the enhanced super-resolution generative adversarial networks (ESRGAN) proposed in 2017, and the content adaptive resampler (CAR) proposed in 2020. Both models outperform simple bicubic interpolation, with the ESRGAN exceeding expectations for accuracy. We make several proposals for extending the work to ensure it can be useful tool for quantifying the impact of climate change on local ecosystems while removing reliance on energy-intensive, high-resolution weather model simulations.

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