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Regional Climate Impacts
The Regional Climate Impacts research theme is focused on improving the availability and relevance of future projections of climate change and impacts. To accomplish this, we require a comprehensive foundation of climate information and downscaling capability that must be continually improved in step with the evolution of climate modelling and downscaling science. Consequently, the theme has invested significant effort in strengthening and updating this information base.
Activity between 2012-2013 was focused on evaluating the emerging international archive of the World Climate Research Program Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (WCRP CMIP5) and developing strategies to efficiently represent the diversity of results that CMIP5 will provide under the new “Representative Concentration Pathways” greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Current impacts research is largely based on the WCRP CMIP3 experiment that was developed for the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (published in 2007). With the new climate modelling experiments (CMIP5) that exploit updated greenhouse gas forcing scenarios at our disposal, we will maintain and improve our ability to provide relevant future projections. Further development of the research program (2013-2016) will extend the updated scenarios to the analysis of indices of extremes and will allow the analysis of climate change impacts on the physical environment of the PCIC study region.
This work is facilitated by the knowledge and experience obtained through previous applied research projects and significant user interest in regional climate analysis results. Previous projects documenting and researching the performance of a range of statistical downscaling tools have provided PCIC with insights that allow for an informed choice of tools and improved characterization of uncertainty. As well, user interest in understanding projected changes to climate extremes is increasing as users develop plans for reducing the risks associated with the changing incidence and intensity of extreme climate and weather events.
- Downscaling: create statistically downscaled results over the Pacific Yukon Region of Canada from the CMIP5 ensemble.
- Extremes: extend the analysis of projected future climate change to include changes in the frequency and intensity of extremes in our region.
- Impacts: extend the analysis of projected future change to include regional impacts relevant to ecosystems, resource management, infrastructure, and local government.