Extracting Practical Information from Climate Change Modelling

Description:Extracting practical information from climate change modelling. Presenter: Michael MacLatchy, Ph.D., P.Eng., Associated Engineering. Climate change modelling provides coarse scale estimates of the potential changes in climatic normals and extremes that will come about due to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The output from these models is at least two steps removed from providing the information needed to make engineering decisions for adaptive actions and planning. Generally, to make use of climate model data a “down scaling” process is needed to relate the climate predictions made in coarse detail into climate data useable at a local scale. Even then, raw climate data is still an input to other processes, such as hydrologic modelling, in order to estimate the potential impacts to areas of direct interest. Possible examples included annual and seasonal water availability, or the occurrence of extreme flood events. Once a specific impact is quantified, appropriate adaption actions can be identified, whether engineering, policy or planning based. However, there are numerous climate change models producing output data from several emissions scenarios. The challenge then becomes identifying the most relevant scenarios, or considering the range of outputs. Over time, climate change estimates will vary as models evolve and emissions scenarios are deleted or added. Analysis based on 6-year old modelling could fall outside current estimates. By considering two hydrologic studies based on climate model estimates, these considerations will be illustrated.

Authors: Michael MacLatchy

Subjects: Energy and Climate Change

Tags:AC15,AC15 presentations,2015 BCWWA Annual Conference & Trade Show

Citation:Stream 9: Other

Publication Date:May 29th, 2015 Upload Date:Jun 26th, 2015

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