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The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6

2016, O'Neill, Brian C., Tebaldi, Claudia, van Vuuren, Detlef P., Eyring, Veronika, Friedlingstein, Pierre, Hurtt, George, Knutti, Reto, Kriegler, Elmar, Lamarque, Jean-Francois, Lowe, Jason, Meehl, Gerald A., Moss, Richard, Riahi, Keywan, Sanderson, Benjamin M.

Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. In this paper, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. At the same time, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. To serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.

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Uncertainty of biomass contributions from agriculture and forestry to renewable energy resources under climate change

2015, Gutsch, M., Lasch-Born, P., Lüttger, A.B., Suckow, F., Murawski, A., Pilz, T.

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The RCP greenhouse gas concentrations and their extensions from 1765 to 2300

2011, Meinshausen, M., Smith, S.J., Calvin, K., Daniel, J.S., Kainuma, M.L.T., Lamarque, J., Matsumoto, K., Montzka, S.A., Raper, S.C.B., Riahi, K., Thomson, A., Velders, G.J.M., van Vuuren, D.P.P.

We present the greenhouse gas concentrations for the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and their extensions beyond 2100, the Extended Concentration Pathways (ECPs). These projections include all major anthropogenic greenhouse gases and are a result of a multi-year effort to produce new scenarios for climate change research. We combine a suite of atmospheric concentration observations and emissions estimates for greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the historical period (1750-2005) with harmonized emissions projected by four different Integrated Assessment Models for 2005-2100. As concentrations are somewhat dependent on the future climate itself (due to climate feedbacks in the carbon and other gas cycles), we emulate median response characteristics of models assessed in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report using the reduced-complexity carbon cycle climate model MAGICC6. Projected 'best-estimate' global-mean surface temperature increases (using inter alia a climate sensitivity of 3°C) range from 1.5°C by 2100 for the lowest of the four RCPs, called both RCP3-PD and RCP2. 6, to 4.5°C for the highest one, RCP8. 5, relative to pre-industrial levels. Beyond 2100, we present the ECPs that are simple extensions of the RCPs, based on the assumption of either smoothly stabilizing concentrations or constant emissions: For example, the lower RCP2. 6 pathway represents a strong mitigation scenario and is extended by assuming constant emissions after 2100 (including net negative CO2 emissions), leading to CO2 concentrations returning to 360 ppm by 2300. We also present the GHG concentrations for one supplementary extension, which illustrates the stringent emissions implications of attempting to go back to ECP4. 5 concentration levels by 2250 after emissions during the 21st century followed the higher RCP6 scenario. Corresponding radiative forcing values are presented for the RCP and ECPs.

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Forests under climate change: Potential risks and opportunities

2015, Lasch-Born, P., Suckow, F., Gutsch, M., Reyer, C., Hauf, Y., Murawski, A., Pilz, T.

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Global and regional effects of land-use change on climate in 21st century simulations with interactive carbon cycle

2014, Boysen, L.R., Brovkin, V., Arora, V.K., Cadule, P., De Noblet-Ducoudré, N., Kato, E., Pongratz, J., Gayler, V.

Biogeophysical (BGP) and biogeochemical (BGC) effects of land-use and land cover change (LULCC) are separated at the global and regional scales in new interactive CO2simulations for the 21st century. Results from four earth system models (ESMs) are analyzed for the future RCP8.5 scenario from simulations with and without land-use and land cover change (LULCC), contributing to the Land-Use and Climate, IDentification of robust impacts (LUCID) project. Over the period 2006-2100, LULCC causes the atmospheric CO2concentration to increase by 12, 22, and 66 ppm in CanESM2, MIROC-ESM, and MPI-ESM-LR, respectively. Statistically significant changes in global near-surface temperature are found in three models with a BGC-induced global mean annual warming between 0.07 and 0.23 K. BGP-induced responses are simulated by three models in areas of intense LULCC of varying sign and magnitude (between g 0.47 and 0.10 K). Modifications of the land carbon pool by LULCC are disentangled in accordance with processes that can lead to increases and decreases in this carbon pool. Global land carbon losses due to LULCC are simulated by all models: 218, 57, 35 and 34 Gt C by MPI-ESM-LR, MIROC-ESM, IPSL-CM5A-LR and CanESM2, respectively. On the contrary, the CO2-fertilization effect caused by elevated atmospheric CO2concentrations due to LULCC leads to a land carbon gain of 39 Gt C in MPI-ESM-LR and is almost negligible in the other models. A substantial part of the spread in models' responses to LULCC is attributed to the differences in implementation of LULCC (e.g., whether pastures or crops are simulated explicitly) and the simulation of specific processes. Simple idealized experiments with clear protocols for implementing LULCC in ESMs are needed to increase the understanding of model responses and the statistical significance of results, especially when analyzing the regional-scale impacts of LULCC.

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Assessment of climate change impacts on water resources in three representative ukrainian catchments using eco-hydrological modelling

2017, Didovets, I., Lobanova, A., Bronstert, A., Snizhko, S., Maule, C.F., Krysanova, V.

The information about climate change impact on river discharge is vitally important for planning adaptation measures. The future changes can affect different water-related sectors. The main goal of this study was to investigate the potential water resource changes in Ukraine, focusing on three mesoscale river catchments (Teteriv, UpperWestern Bug, and Samara) characteristic for different geographical zones. The catchment scale watershed model-Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM)-was setup, calibrated, and validated for the three catchments under consideration. A set of seven GCM-RCM (General Circulation Model-Regional Climate Model) coupled climate scenarios corresponding to RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) 4.5 and 8.5 were used to drive the hydrological catchment model. The climate projections, used in the study, were considered as three combinations of low, intermediate, and high end scenarios. Our results indicate the shifts in the seasonal distribution of runoff in all three catchments. The spring high flow occurs earlier as a result of temperature increases and earlier snowmelt. The fairly robust trend is an increase in river discharge in the winter season, and most of the scenarios show a potential decrease in river discharge in the spring.

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A probabilistic risk assessment for the vulnerability of the European carbon cycle to weather extremes: The ecosystem perspective

2015, Rolinski, S., Rammig, A., Walz, A., von Bloh, W., van Oijen, M., Thonicke, K.

Extreme weather events are likely to occur more often under climate change and the resulting effects on ecosystems could lead to a further acceleration of climate change. But not all extreme weather events lead to extreme ecosystem response. Here, we focus on hazardous ecosystem behaviour and identify coinciding weather conditions. We use a simple probabilistic risk assessment based on time series of ecosystem behaviour and climate conditions. Given the risk assessment terminology, vulnerability and risk for the previously defined hazard are estimated on the basis of observed hazardous ecosystem behaviour. We apply this approach to extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystems to drought, defining the hazard as a negative net biome productivity over a 12-month period. We show an application for two selected sites using data for 1981–2010 and then apply the method to the pan-European scale for the same period, based on numerical modelling results (LPJmL for ecosystem behaviour; ERA-Interim data for climate). Our site-specific results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method, using the SPEI to describe the climate condition. The site in Spain provides an example of vulnerability to drought because the expected value of the SPEI is 0.4 lower for hazardous than for non-hazardous ecosystem behaviour. In northern Germany, on the contrary, the site is not vulnerable to drought because the SPEI expectation values imply wetter conditions in the hazard case than in the non-hazard case. At the pan-European scale, ecosystem vulnerability to drought is calculated in the Mediterranean and temperate region, whereas Scandinavian ecosystems are vulnerable under conditions without water shortages. These first model-based applications indicate the conceptual advantages of the proposed method by focusing on the identification of critical weather conditions for which we observe hazardous ecosystem behaviour in the analysed data set. Application of the method to empirical time series and to future climate would be important next steps to test the approach.

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Changes of temperature-related agroclimatic indices in Poland

2016, Graczyk, D., Kundzewicz, Z.W.

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Effect of climate change on hydrology, sediment and nutrient losses in two lowland catchments in Poland

2017, Marcinkowski, P., Piniewski, M., Kardel, I., Szcześniak, M., Benestad, R., Srinivasan, R., Ignar, S., Okruszko, T.

Future climate change is projected to have significant impact on water resources availability and quality in many parts of the world. The objective of this paper is to assess the effect of projected climate change on water quantity and quality in two lowland catchments (the Upper Narew and the Barycz) in Poland in two future periods (near future: 2021-2050, and far future: 2071-2100). The hydrological model SWAT was driven by climate forcing data from an ensemble of nine bias-corrected General Circulation Models-Regional Climate Models (GCM-RCM) runs based on the Coordinated Downscaling Experiment-European Domain (EURO-CORDEX). Hydrological response to climate warming and wetter conditions (particularly in winter and spring) in both catchments includes: lower snowmelt, increased percolation and baseflow and higher runoff. Seasonal differences in the response between catchments can be explained by their properties (e.g., different thermal conditions and soil permeability). Projections suggest only moderate increases in sediment loss, occurring mainly in summer and winter. A sharper increase is projected in both catchments for TN losses, especially in the Barycz catchment characterized by a more intensive agriculture. The signal of change in annual TP losses is blurred by climate model uncertainty in the Barycz catchment, whereas a weak and uncertain increase is projected in the Upper Narew catchment.

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How will organic carbon stocks in mineral soils evolve under future climate? Global projections using RothC for a range of climate change scenarios

2012, Gottschalk, P., Smith, J.U., Wattenbach, M., Bellarby, J., Stehfest, E., Arnell, N., Osborn, T.J., Jones, C., Smith, P.

We use a soil carbon (C) model (RothC), driven by a range of climate models for a range of climate scenarios to examine the impacts of future climate on global soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. The results suggest an overall global increase in SOC stocks by 2100 under all scenarios, but with a different extent of increase among the climate model and emissions scenarios. The impacts of projected land use changes are also simulated, but have relatively minor impacts at the global scale. Whether soils gain or lose SOC depends upon the balance between C inputs and decomposition. Changes in net primary production (NPP) change C inputs to the soil, whilst decomposition usually increases under warmer temperatures, but can also be slowed by decreased soil moisture. Underlying the global trend of increasing SOC under future climate is a complex pattern of regional SOC change. SOC losses are projected to occur in northern latitudes where higher SOC decomposition rates due to higher temperatures are not balanced by increased NPP, whereas in tropical regions, NPP increases override losses due to higher SOC decomposition. The spatial heterogeneity in the response of SOC to changing climate shows how delicately balanced the competing gain and loss processes are, with subtle changes in temperature, moisture, soil type and land use, interacting to determine whether SOC increases or decreases in the future. Our results suggest that we should stop looking for a single answer regarding whether SOC stocks will increase or decrease under future climate, since there is no single answer. Instead, we should focus on improving our prediction of the factors that determine the size and direction of change, and the land management practices that can be implemented to protect and enhance SOC stocks.