Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quantifying climate impacts: new comprehensive model comparison launched

07.02.2012
Climate change has impacts on forests, fields, rivers – and thereby on humans that breathe, eat and drink.

To assess these impacts more accurately, a comprehensive comparison of computer-based simulations from all over the world will start this week. For the first time, sectors ranging from ecosystems to agriculture to water supplies and health will be scrutinized in a common framework.

The models will be provided by more than two dozen research groups from the United States, China, Germany, Austria, Kenya, and the Netherlands, among others. The scientists will investigate which results are robust, where there are uncertainties and why.

The project will be coordinated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Some results of the study will be available within 12 months from now for consideration and integration into the development of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth Assessment Report, due for completion in 2014. The simulations will be based on the latest generation of climate scenarios covering a wide range of possible futures.

“We want to better understand how climate impacts differ between a global warming of two degrees compared to three degrees,” says Katja Frieler of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project coordinating team (ISI-MIP). The international community has set a target of two degrees, but unfettered emission of greenhouse gases sets the world on a path to three degrees or more. This seemingly small difference could have drastic impacts.“ These are calculated on the basis of observations and current understanding of the relevant processes,” says Frieler. “We will examine to what extent they agree across models and quantify the uncertainty that remains.”

"The project will help to fill a sore gap in the IPCC's report"

The global model comparison puts the focus squarely on humans. Water shortages in a region in Africa for instance could make it difficult for farmers to cultivate their fields, poor crops could lead to malnourishment and thus to a higher vulnerability to diseases, Frieler explains. The comparison could help to identify possible regional hotspots.

“The project will help to fill a sore gap in the IPCC´s report,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK director. Until now, there have been comprehensive model comparisons for the physics of the climate system as well as for the economy of climate protection and for climate impacts on specific sectors. To address all climate impacts at once is both an ambitious and necessary intent, says Schellnhuber. “It provides an essential strengthening of the grounds for the 2014 IPCC report.”

Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, expressed enthusiasm for the project. “As co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, I greatly appreciate the initiative required to get this activity underway, and I appreciate the commitment to fast-track components that will yield results in time for inclusion in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report”, says Field. The products that ISI-MIP envisions “will make a real difference for the assessment process.” The IPCC Working Group II assesses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.

"The time has come for this comparison"

Working Group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer from PIK also explicitly encouraged the impact intercomparison project. "A sound impact analysis is of high relevance for mitigation and adaptation assessment as well", says Edenhofer. "It enables us to do cost-benefit estimates that are critical for providing decision-makers with the information they need. We therefore strongly endorse the impact model intercomparison effort." Working group III of the IPCC focuses on climate change mitigation.

“The time has come for this comparison,” says Pavel Kabat, Director of IIASA. “A multi-model cross-sectoral approach to projections of climate change impacts has not been available in the past. The ISI-MIP project is a significant and positive development in this regard. We have access to sophisticated models, vast quantities of high-quality data from many sectors and regions and an urgency to deliver a highly integrative analysis of our current knowledge about global impacts of climate change. We are confident that this project can deliver such an analysis.”

For further information please contact:

PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

IIASA press office
E-mail: regan@iiasa.ac.at
Phone: +43 2236 807 316

Mareike Schodder | idw
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de

Further reports about: Climate change Impact Mobile phone PIK Quantifying climate impact greenhouse gas

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise
26.08.2016 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Biomass turnover time in ecosystems is halved by land use
23.08.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Virtual Reality: 3D Human Body Reconstruction from Fraunhofer HHI digitizes Human Beings

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI have developed a method by which the realistic image of a person can be transmitted into a virtual world. The 3D Human Body Reconstruction Technology captures real persons with multiple cameras at the same time and creates naturally moving dynamic 3D models. At this year’s trade fairs IFA in Berlin (Hall 11.1, Booth 3) and IBC in Amsterdam (Hall 8, Booth B80) Fraunhofer HHI will show this new technology.

Fraunhofer HHI researchers have developed a camera system that films people with a perfect three-dimensional impression. The core of this system is a stereo...

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cancer: Molecularly shutting down cancer cachexia

31.08.2016 | Life Sciences

Robust fuel cell heating unit developed

31.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Algorithms Offer Insight into Cellular Development

31.08.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>