We investigate the performance of existing state-of-the-art rule induction and tree algorithms, namely Single Conjunctive Rule Learner, Decision Table, M5 Model Tree, Decision Stump and REPTree. Downscaling models are developed using these algorithms to obtain projections of mean monthly precipitation to lake-basin scale in an arid region in India. The effectiveness of these algorithms is evaluated through application to downscale the predictand for the Lake Pichola region in Rajasthan state in India, which is considered to be a climatically sensitive region. The predictor variables are extracted from (1) the National Centre for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis dataset for the period 1948–2000 and (2) the simulations from the third-generation Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM3) for emission scenarios A1B, A2, B1 and COMMIT for the period 2001–2100. M5 Model Tree algorithm was found to yield better performance among all other learning techniques explored in the present study. The precipitation is projected to increase in future for A2 and A1B scenarios, whereas it is least for B1 and COMMIT scenarios using predictors.

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