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    The Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services Advisory Board (VIACS AB v1.0) contribution to CMIP6
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Ruane, Alex C.; Teichmann, Claas; Arnell, Nigel W.; Carter, Timothy R.; Ebi, Kristie L.; Frieler, Katja; Goodess, Clare M.; Hewitson, Bruce; Horton, Radley; Kovats, R. Sari; Lotze, Heike K.; Mearns, Linda O.; Navarra, Antonio; Ojima, Dennis S.; Riahi, Keywan; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Themessl, Matthias; Vincent, Katharine
    This paper describes the motivation for the creation of the Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services (VIACS) Advisory Board for the Sixth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), its initial activities, and its plans to serve as a bridge between climate change applications experts and climate modelers. The climate change application community comprises researchers and other specialists who use climate information (alongside socioeconomic and other environmental information) to analyze vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation of natural systems and society in relation to past, ongoing, and projected future climate change. Much of this activity is directed toward the co-development of information needed by decision-makers for managing projected risks. CMIP6 provides a unique opportunity to facilitate a two-way dialog between climate modelers and VIACS experts who are looking to apply CMIP6 results for a wide array of research and climate services objectives. The VIACS Advisory Board convenes leaders of major impact sectors, international programs, and climate services to solicit community feedback that increases the applications relevance of the CMIP6-Endorsed Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs). As an illustration of its potential, the VIACS community provided CMIP6 leadership with a list of prioritized climate model variables and MIP experiments of the greatest interest to the climate model applications community, indicating the applicability and societal relevance of climate model simulation outputs. The VIACS Advisory Board also recommended an impacts version of Obs4MIPs and indicated user needs for the gridding and processing of model output.
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    Deforestation in Amazonia impacts riverine carbon dynamics
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Langerwisch, Fanny; Walz, Ariane; Rammig, Anja; Tietjen, Britta; Thonicke, Kirsten; Cramer, Wolfgang
    Fluxes of organic and inorganic carbon within the Amazon basin are considerably controlled by annual flooding, which triggers the export of terrigenous organic material to the river and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean. The amount of carbon imported to the river and the further conversion, transport and export of it depend on temperature, atmospheric CO2, terrestrial productivity and carbon storage, as well as discharge. Both terrestrial productivity and discharge are influenced by climate and land use change. The coupled LPJmL and RivCM model system (Langerwisch et al., 2016) has been applied to assess the combined impacts of climate and land use change on the Amazon riverine carbon dynamics. Vegetation dynamics (in LPJmL) as well as export and conversion of terrigenous carbon to and within the river (RivCM) are included. The model system has been applied for the years 1901 to 2099 under two deforestation scenarios and with climate forcing of three SRES emission scenarios, each for five climate models. We find that high deforestation (business-as-usual scenario) will strongly decrease (locally by up to 90%) riverine particulate and dissolved organic carbon amount until the end of the current century. At the same time, increase in discharge leaves net carbon transport during the first decades of the century roughly unchanged only if a sufficient area is still forested. After 2050 the amount of transported carbon will decrease drastically. In contrast to that, increased temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration determine the amount of riverine inorganic carbon stored in the Amazon basin. Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase riverine inorganic carbon amount by up to 20% (SRES A2). The changes in riverine carbon fluxes have direct effects on carbon export, either to the atmosphere via outgassing or to the Atlantic Ocean via discharge. The outgassed carbon will increase slightly in the Amazon basin, but can be regionally reduced by up to 60% due to deforestation. The discharge of organic carbon to the ocean will be reduced by about 40% under the most severe deforestation and climate change scenario. These changes would have local and regional consequences on the carbon balance and habitat characteristics in the Amazon basin itself as well as in the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.
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    Sustainable management of river oases along the Tarim River (SuMaRiO) in Northwest China under conditions of climate change
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rumbaur, C.; Thevs, N.; Disse, M.; Ahlheim, M.; Brieden, A.; Cyffka, B.; Duethmann, D.; Feike, T.; Frör, O.; Gärtner, P.; Halik, Ü.; Hill, J.; Hinnenthal, M.; Keilholz, P.; Kleinschmit, B.; Krysanova, V.; Kuba, M.; Mader, S.; Menz, C.; Othmanli, H.; Pelz, S.; Schroeder, M.; Siew, T.F.; Stender, V.; Stahr, K.; Thomas, F.M.; Welp, M.; Wortmann, M.; Zhao, X.; Chen, X.; Jiang, T.; Luo, J.; Yimit, H.; Yu, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, C.
    The Tarim River basin, located in Xinjiang, NW China, is the largest endorheic river basin in China and one of the largest in all of Central Asia. Due to the extremely arid climate, with an annual precipitation of less than 100 mm, the water supply along the Aksu and Tarim rivers solely depends on river water. This is linked to anthropogenic activities (e.g., agriculture) and natural and semi-natural ecosystems as both compete for water. The ongoing increase in water consumption by agriculture and other human activities in this region has been enhancing the competition for water between human needs and nature. Against this background, 11 German and 6 Chinese universities and research institutes have formed the consortium SuMaRiO (Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River;, which aims to create a holistic picture of the availability of water resources in the Tarim River basin and the impacts on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems caused by the water distribution within the Tarim River basin. On the basis of the results from field studies and modeling approaches as well as from suggestions by the relevant regional stakeholders, a decision support tool (DST) will be implemented that will then assist stakeholders in balancing the competition for water, acknowledging the major external effects of water allocation to agriculture and to natural ecosystems. This consortium was formed in 2011 and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As the data collection phase was finished this year, the paper presented here brings together the results from the fields from the disciplines of climate modeling, cryology, hydrology, agricultural sciences, ecology, geoinformatics, and social sciences in order to present a comprehensive picture of the effects of different water availability schemes on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems along the Tarim River. The second objective is to present the project structure of the whole consortium, the current status of work (i.e., major new results and findings), explain the foundation of the decision support tool as a key product of this project, and conclude with application recommendations for the region. The discharge of the Aksu River, which is the major tributary of the Tarim, has been increasing over the past 6 decades. From 1989 to 2011, agricultural area more than doubled: cotton became the major crop and there was a shift from small-scale to large-scale intensive farming. The ongoing increase in irrigated agricultural land leads to the increased threat of salinization and soil degradation caused by increased evapotranspiration. Aside from agricultural land, the major natural and semi-natural ecosystems are riparian (Tugai) forests, shrub vegetation, reed beds, and other grassland, as well as urban and peri-urban vegetation. Within the SuMaRiO cluster, focus has been set on the Tugai forests, with Populus euphratica as the dominant tree species, because these forests belong to the most productive and species-rich natural ecosystems of the Tarim River basin. At sites close to the groundwater, the annual stem diameter increments of Populus euphratica correlated with the river runoffs of the previous year. However, the natural river dynamics cease along the downstream course and thus hamper the recruitment of Populus euphratica. A study on the willingness to pay for the conservation of the natural ecosystems was conducted to estimate the concern of the people in the region and in China's capital. These household surveys revealed that there is a considerable willingness to pay for conservation of the natural ecosystems, with mitigation of dust and sandstorms considered the most important ecosystem service. Stakeholder dialogues contributed to creating a scientific basis for a sustainable management in the future.
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    Projecting Antarctic ice discharge using response functions from SeaRISE ice-sheet models
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Levermann, A.; Winkelmann, R.; Nowicki, S.; Fastook, J.L.; Frieler, K.; Greve, R.; Hellmer, H.H.; Martin, M.A.; Meinshausen, M.; Mengel, M.; Payne, A.J.; Pollard, D.; Sato, T.; Timmermann, R.; Wang, W.L.; Bindschadler, R.A.
    The largest uncertainty in projections of future sea-level change results from the potentially changing dynamical ice discharge from Antarctica. Basal ice-shelf melting induced by a warming ocean has been identified as a major cause for additional ice flow across the grounding line. Here we attempt to estimate the uncertainty range of future ice discharge from Antarctica by combining uncertainty in the climatic forcing, the oceanic response and the ice-sheet model response. The uncertainty in the global mean temperature increase is obtained from historically constrained emulations with the MAGICC-6.0 (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse gas Induced Climate Change) model. The oceanic forcing is derived from scaling of the subsurface with the atmospheric warming from 19 comprehensive climate models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-5) and two ocean models from the EU-project Ice2Sea. The dynamic ice-sheet response is derived from linear response functions for basal ice-shelf melting for four different Antarctic drainage regions using experiments from the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) intercomparison project with five different Antarctic ice-sheet models. The resulting uncertainty range for the historic Antarctic contribution to global sea-level rise from 1992 to 2011 agrees with the observed contribution for this period if we use the three ice-sheet models with an explicit representation of ice-shelf dynamics and account for the time-delayed warming of the oceanic subsurface compared to the surface air temperature. The median of the additional ice loss for the 21st century is computed to 0.07 m (66% range: 0.02–0.14 m; 90% range: 0.0–0.23 m) of global sea-level equivalent for the low-emission RCP-2.6 (Representative Concentration Pathway) scenario and 0.09 m (66% range: 0.04–0.21 m; 90% range: 0.01–0.37 m) for the strongest RCP-8.5. Assuming no time delay between the atmospheric warming and the oceanic subsurface, these values increase to 0.09 m (66% range: 0.04–0.17 m; 90% range: 0.02–0.25 m) for RCP-2.6 and 0.15 m (66% range: 0.07–0.28 m; 90% range: 0.04–0.43 m) for RCP-8.5. All probability distributions are highly skewed towards high values. The applied ice-sheet models are coarse resolution with limitations in the representation of grounding-line motion. Within the constraints of the applied methods, the uncertainty induced from different ice-sheet models is smaller than that induced by the external forcing to the ice sheets.
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    Quantifying uncertainties in soil carbon responses to changes in global mean temperature and precipitation
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Nishina, K.; Ito, A.; Beerling, D.J.; Cadule, P.; Ciais, P.; Clark, D.B.; Friend, A.D.; Kahana, R.; Kato, E.; Keribin, R.; Lucht, W.; Lomas, M.; Rademacher, T.T.; Pavlick, R.; Schaphoff, S.; Vuichard, N.; Warszawaski, L.; Yokohata, T.
    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is the largest carbon pool in terrestrial ecosystems and may play a key role in biospheric feedbacks with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in a warmer future world. We examined the simulation results of seven terrestrial biome models when forced with climate projections from four representative-concentration-pathways (RCPs)-based atmospheric concentration scenarios. The goal was to specify calculated uncertainty in global SOC stock projections from global and regional perspectives and give insight to the improvement of SOC-relevant processes in biome models. SOC stocks among the biome models varied from 1090 to 2650 Pg C even in historical periods (ca. 2000). In a higher forcing scenario (i.e., RCP8.5), inconsistent estimates of impact on the total SOC (2099–2000) were obtained from different biome model simulations, ranging from a net sink of 347 Pg C to a net source of 122 Pg C. In all models, the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration in the RCP8.5 scenario considerably contributed to carbon accumulation in SOC. However, magnitudes varied from 93 to 264 Pg C by the end of the 21st century across biome models. Using the time-series data of total global SOC simulated by each biome model, we analyzed the sensitivity of the global SOC stock to global mean temperature and global precipitation anomalies (ΔT and ΔP respectively) in each biome model using a state-space model. This analysis suggests that ΔT explained global SOC stock changes in most models with a resolution of 1–2 °C, and the magnitude of global SOC decomposition from a 2 °C rise ranged from almost 0 to 3.53 Pg C yr−1 among the biome models. However, ΔP had a negligible impact on change in the global SOC changes. Spatial heterogeneity was evident and inconsistent among the biome models, especially in boreal to arctic regions. Our study reveals considerable climate uncertainty in SOC decomposition responses to climate and CO2 change among biome models. Further research is required to improve our ability to estimate biospheric feedbacks through both SOC-relevant and vegetation-relevant processes.
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    DIVA: An iterative method for building modular integrated models
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2005) Hinkel, J.
    Integrated modelling of global environmental change impacts faces the challenge that knowledge from the domains of Natural and Social Science must be integrated. This is complicated by often incompatible terminology and the fact that the interactions between subsystems are usually not fully understood at the start of the project. While a modular modelling approach is necessary to address these challenges, it is not sufficient. The remaining question is how the modelled system shall be cut down into modules. While no generic answer can be given to this question, communication tools can be provided to support the process of modularisation and integration. Along those lines of thought a method for building modular integrated models was developed within the EU project DINAS-COAST and applied to construct a first model, which assesses the vulnerability of the world’s coasts to climate change and sea-level-rise. The method focuses on the development of a common language and offers domain experts an intuitive interface to code their knowledge in form of modules. However, instead of rigorously defining interfaces between the subsystems at the project’s beginning, an iterative model development process is defined and tools to facilitate communication and collaboration are provided. This flexible approach has the advantage that increased understanding about subsystem interactions, gained during the project’s lifetime, can immediately be reflected in the model.
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    Multi-model climate impact assessment and intercomparison for three large-scale river basins on three continents
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Vetter, T.; Huang, S.; Aich, V.; Yang, T.; Wang, X.; Krysanova, V.; Hattermann, F.
    Climate change impacts on hydrological processes should be simulated for river basins using validated models and multiple climate scenarios in order to provide reliable results for stakeholders. In the last 10–15 years, climate impact assessment has been performed for many river basins worldwide using different climate scenarios and models. However, their results are hardly comparable, and do not allow one to create a full picture of impacts and uncertainties. Therefore, a systematic intercomparison of impacts is suggested, which should be done for representative regions using state-of-the-art models. Only a few such studies have been available until now with the global-scale hydrological models, and our study is intended as a step in this direction by applying the regional-scale models. The impact assessment presented here was performed for three river basins on three continents: the Rhine in Europe, the Upper Niger in Africa and the Upper Yellow in Asia. For that, climate scenarios from five general circulation models (GCMs) and three hydrological models, HBV, SWIM and VIC, were used. Four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) covering a range of emissions and land-use change projections were included. The objectives were to analyze and compare climate impacts on future river discharge and to evaluate uncertainties from different sources. The results allow one to draw some robust conclusions, but uncertainties are large and shared differently between sources in the studied basins. Robust results in terms of trend direction and slope and changes in seasonal dynamics could be found for the Rhine basin regardless of which hydrological model or forcing GCM is used. For the Niger River, scenarios from climate models are the largest uncertainty source, providing large discrepancies in precipitation, and therefore clear projections are difficult to do. For the Upper Yellow basin, both the hydrological models and climate models contribute to uncertainty in the impacts, though an increase in high flows in the future is a robust outcome ensured by all three hydrological models.
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    Potential climate change impacts on the water balance of subcatchments of the River Spree, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Pohle, I.; Koch, H.; Grünewald, U.
    Lusatia is considered one of the driest regions of Germany. The climatic water balance is negative even under current climate conditions. Due to global climate change, increased temperatures and a shift of precipitation from summer to winter are expected. Therefore, it is of major interest whether the excess water in winter can be stored and to which extent it is used up on increasing evapotranspiration. Thus, this study focuses on estimating potential climate change impacts on the water balance of two subcatchments of the River Spree using the Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM). Climate input was taken from 100 realisations each of two scenarios of the STatistical Analogue Resampling scheme STAR assuming a further temperature increase of 0 K (scenario A) and 2 K by the year 2055 (scenario B) respectively. Resulting from increased temperatures and a shift in precipitation from summer to winter actual evapotranspiration is supposed to increase in winter and early spring, but to decrease in later spring and early summer. This is less pronounced for scenario A than for scenario B. Consequently, also the decrease in discharge and groundwater recharge in late spring is lower for scenario A than for scenario B. The highest differences of runoff generation and groundwater recharge between the two scenarios but also the highest ranges within the scenarios occur in summer and early autumn. It is planned to estimate potential climate change for the catchments of Spree, Schwarze Elster and Lusatian Neisse.
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    Collateral transgression of planetary boundaries due to climate engineering by terrestrial carbon dioxide removal
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Heck, Vera; Donges, Jonathan F.; Lucht, Wolfgang
    The planetary boundaries framework provides guidelines for defining thresholds in environmental variables. Their transgression is likely to result in a shift in Earth system functioning away from the relatively stable Holocene state. As the climate system is approaching critical thresholds of atmospheric carbon, several climate engineering methods are discussed, aiming at a reduction of atmospheric carbon concentrations to control the Earth's energy balance. Terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) via afforestation or bioenergy production with carbon capture and storage are part of most climate change mitigation scenarios that limit global warming to less than 2°C. We analyse the co-evolutionary interaction of societal interventions via tCDR and the natural dynamics of the Earth's carbon cycle. Applying a conceptual modelling framework, we analyse how the degree of anticipation of the climate problem and the intensity of tCDR efforts with the aim of staying within a "safe" level of global warming might influence the state of the Earth system with respect to other carbon-related planetary boundaries. Within the scope of our approach, we show that societal management of atmospheric carbon via tCDR can lead to a collateral transgression of the planetary boundary of land system change. Our analysis indicates that the opportunities to remain in a desirable region within carbon-related planetary boundaries only exist for a small range of anticipation levels and depend critically on the underlying emission pathway. While tCDR has the potential to ensure the Earth system's persistence within a carbon-safe operating space under low-emission pathways, it is unlikely to succeed in a business-as-usual scenario.
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    Decomposing uncertainties in the future terrestrial carbon budget associated with emission scenarios, climate projections, and ecosystem simulations using the ISI-MIP results
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Nishina, K.; Ito, A.; Falloon, P.; Friend, A.D.; Beerling, D.J.; Ciais, P.; Clark, D.B.; Kahana, R.; Kato, E.; Lucht, W.; Lomas, M.; Pavlick, R.; Schaphoff, S.; Warszawaski, L.; Yokohata, T.
    We examined the changes to global net primary production (NPP), vegetation biomass carbon (VegC), and soil organic carbon (SOC) estimated by six global vegetation models (GVMs) obtained from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Simulation results were obtained using five global climate models (GCMs) forced with four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. To clarify which component (i.e., emission scenarios, climate projections, or global vegetation models) contributes the most to uncertainties in projected global terrestrial C cycling by 2100, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and wavelet clustering were applied to 70 projected simulation sets. At the end of the simulation period, changes from the year 2000 in all three variables varied considerably from net negative to positive values. ANOVA revealed that the main sources of uncertainty are different among variables and depend on the projection period. We determined that in the global VegC and SOC projections, GVMs are the main influence on uncertainties (60 % and 90 %, respectively) rather than climate-driving scenarios (RCPs and GCMs). Moreover, the divergence of changes in vegetation carbon residence times is dominated by GVM uncertainty, particularly in the latter half of the 21st century. In addition, we found that the contribution of each uncertainty source is spatiotemporally heterogeneous and it differs among the GVM variables. The dominant uncertainty source for changes in NPP and VegC varies along the climatic gradient. The contribution of GVM to the uncertainty decreases as the climate division becomes cooler (from ca. 80 % in the equatorial division to 40 % in the snow division). Our results suggest that to assess climate change impacts on global ecosystem C cycling among each RCP scenario, the long-term C dynamics within the ecosystems (i.e., vegetation turnover and soil decomposition) are more critical factors than photosynthetic processes. The different trends in the contribution of uncertainty sources in each variable among climate divisions indicate that improvement of GVMs based on climate division or biome type will be effective. On the other hand, in dry regions, GCMs are the dominant uncertainty source in climate impact assessments of vegetation and soil C dynamics.