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Climate impact research: beyond patchwork

Huber, V., Schellnhuber, H. J., Arnell, N. W., Frieler, K., Friend, A. D., Gerten, D., Haddeland, I., Kabat, P., Lotze-Campen, H., Lucht, W., Parry, M., Piontek, F., Rosenzweig, C., Schewe, J. and Warszawski, L. (2014) Climate impact research: beyond patchwork. Earth System Dynamics, 5 (2). pp. 399-408. ISSN 2190-4987

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/esd-5-399-2014

Abstract/Summary

Despite significant progress in climate impacts research, the narratives that science can presently piece together of a 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-degree warmer world remain fragmentary. Here we briefly review past undertakings to comprehensively characterize and quantify climate impacts based on multi-model approaches. We then report on the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), a community-driven effort to systematically compare impacts models across sectors and scales, and to quantify the uncertainties along the chain from greenhouse gas emissions and climate input data to the modelling of climate impacts themselves. We show how ISI-MIP and similar efforts can substantially advance the science relevant to impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and we outline the steps that need to be taken in order to make the most of available modelling tools. We discuss pertinent limitations of these methods and how they could be tackled. We argue that it is time to consolidate the current patchwork of impacts knowledge through integrated cross-sectoral assessments, and that the climate impacts community is now in a favourable position to do so.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38975
Publisher:European Geosciences Union

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