Reducing Climate Information Complexity through the Production of a Standard Scenarios Ensemble for Vulnerability, Impact and Adaptation Applications

Friday, 19 December 2014
Blaise Gauvin St-Denis1, Travis Logan1, Marco Braun1, David Gampe2 and Diane Chaumont1, (1)Ouranos, Montreal, QC, Canada, (2)Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Geography, Munich, Germany
With the growing number of available climate simulations, the capacity of end users to process and interpret all this information in vulnerability, impact and adaptation studies becomes limited. At the same time, for an organization providing climate scenarios and services, it is important to provide scenarios that will ensure comparable and coherent decision making across various projects, while still addressing their particularities. Here, the choices and challenges related to the production of a standard climate scenarios ensemble are presented. The resulting ensemble should be standard in terms of climate simulations used and post-processing methods applied. Furthermore, the uncertainty present in the full original ensemble should be appropriately represented for all time horizons, spatial locations and scales, and variables. Starting from the CMIP5 ensemble, an objective selection of simulations is done using cluster analysis. Biases in climate simulations are characterized and simple post-processing methods are used to correct those biases, with particular interest in preserving the effects of natural variability. With such a standard climate scenarios ensemble, it is possible to provide condensed, but still adequate, climate information accompanied by a well-documented methodology. These products, with related knowledge transfer associated to underlying uncertainties, as well as interactions with end users form the basis for successful adaptation decisions.