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Multi-model climate change projections for India under representative concentration pathways

Climate projections for the preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are made using the newly developed representative concentration pathways (RCPs) under the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project 5 (CMIP5). This article provides multi-model and multi-scenario temperature and precipitation projections for India for the time period 1860–2099 based on new climate data. This is the first time that a comprehensive climate change projection for India is based on multiple climate models. The authors reveal the fallacy of relying on a single climate model by showing that the CMIP5 ensemble mean climate is closer to observed climate than any individual model. The new climate projections are aimed to assist future assessment on the impact of climate change, as well as adaptation planning. The paper argues that there is a need to consider extreme projections more in impact studies and adaptation planning.