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 Fossils Turn Out to Be a Rich Source of Information
09.02.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht The shield is crumbling
09.02.2016 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

Im Focus: Superconductivity: footballs with no resistance

Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.

Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...

Im Focus: Wbp2 is a novel deafness gene

Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

The scientists have shown that hearing impairment is linked to hormonal signalling rather than to hair cell degeneration. Wbp2 is known as a transcriptional...

Im Focus: From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes

Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an...

Im Focus: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

Body temperature triggers newly developed polymer to change shape

09.02.2016 | Materials Sciences

Using renewable energy in heating networks more efficiently

09.02.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>