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Quantifying climate impacts: New comprehensive model comparison launched
Date:2/7/2012

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
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Contact: Jonas Viering
press@pik-potsdam.de
49-331-288-2507
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Source:Eurekalert

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