The Regional Climate Model system RegCM , originally developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR),
is maintained in the Earth System Physics (ESP) section of the ICTP. The first version of the model, RegCM1, was developed in 1989 and since then it has undergone major updates in 1993 (RegCM2), 1999 (RegCM2.5), 2006 (RegCM3) and most recently 2010 (RegCM4). The latest version of the model, RegCM4, is now fully supported by the ESP, while previous versions are no longer available. This version includes major upgrades in the structure of the code and its pre- and post- processors, along with the inclusion of some new physics parameterizations. The model is flexible, portable and easy to use. It can be applied to any region of the World, with grid spacing of up to about 10 km (hydrostatic limit), and for a wide range of studies, from process studies to paleoclimate and future climate simulation.
Model improvements currently under way include the development of a tropical band version (to be released by the end of 2010), coupling with a regional ocean model, inclusion of full gas-phase chemistry, upgrades of some phsyics schemes (convection, PBL, cloud microphysics) and development of a non-hydrostatic dynamical core.
ESP also supports the Regional Climate Research Network, or RegCNET. The objective of RegCNET is to expand and strengthen the network of model users and to develop collaborative research projects across the network to improve the understanding of climate change at the regional scale. The RegCNET also provides a forum for current and future model users to discuss relevant issues, exchange research experiences and formulate needs and priorities for further model development and dissemination.