Dynamics and Impacts of Fine-Scale Change

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 07:00
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Designing effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures requires rigorous, comprehensive, detailed analyses of the response of climate dynamics to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations, and of the potential impacts of those climate changes on natural and human systems. To date, most Integrated Assessment Models have employed highly abstracted climate components. A number of important efforts are under way to incorporate more realistic representation of the physical processes that shape spatial and temporal variations in climate. However, most of this emphasis is placed on the large-scale climate response through the use of relatively low-resolution global climate models, while far less attention has been given to the role of fine-scale climate processes through the use of high-resolution climate models. This presentation will (1) review some of the evidence that fine-scale climate processes that occur at sub-GCM grid-scales can regulate the response of high-impact climate events to changes in radiative forcing, (2) present initial results evaluating the contribution of different scales to uncertainty in regional climate change, and (3) propose possible approaches incorporating fine-scale processes into IAMs.