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New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute Climate change scenarios: global and local NZCCC Adaptation Conference ‘09 Andy Reisinger 1 with Martin Manning.

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Presentation on theme: "New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute Climate change scenarios: global and local NZCCC Adaptation Conference ‘09 Andy Reisinger 1 with Martin Manning."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute Climate change scenarios: global and local NZCCC Adaptation Conference ‘09 Andy Reisinger 1 with Martin Manning 1, Brett Mullan 2, David Wratt 2, Richard Nottage 2 1 Climate Change Research Institute, School of Government, Victoria University 2 National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

2 2 Scenarios: alternative futures Future climate change depends on future greenhouse gas emissions Future greenhouse gas emissions depend on socio-economic choices Figures based on Meinshausen et al., Nature 2009 We cannot predict the socio- economic choices the world will make. But we can ask “what if” any particular choice became reality?

3 3 Scenarios: alternative futures rapidly decarbonising world high carbon world Future climate change depends on future greenhouse gas emissions Future greenhouse gas emissions depend on socio-economic choices Different impacts globally Different socio-economic drivers: fractured world with uneven development vs. convergent world with strong focus on multilateralism Figures based on Meinshausen et al., Nature 2009

4 4 Climate change scenarios: implications Implications of alternative scenarios: (obviously) different climate and impacts for NZ but also: different impacts around the world and also: very different settings for international policy, technology, sustainability, cooperation  NZ intimately connected with rest of the world through tourism, exports, security, aid, migration, technology and raw materials → flow-on effects !

5 5 Climate change scenarios for NZ Methodology select IPCC models that do the best job in reproducing current/recent climate in Pacific select model information for two scenarios –high carbon world (SRES A2) –rapidly decarbonising world (scale SRES B1 scenario so that global warming is limited to 2°C by end 21 st century) –estimate global warming for two missing model runs down-scale models to high resolution over NZ  change in seasonal average climate parameters  changes in extremes more difficult to model

6 6 NZ scenarios: temperature Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

7 7 NZ scenarios: temperature Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

8 8 NZ scenarios: temperature Inter-model variations in temperature Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

9 9 NZ scenarios: winter precipitation Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

10 10 NZ scenarios: winter precipitation Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

11 11 NZ scenarios: summer precipitation Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

12 12 NZ scenarios: summer precipitation Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

13 13 NZ scenarios: precipitation Inter-model variations in precip: south-west South Island Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

14 14 NZ scenarios: precipitation Inter-model variations in precip: east North Island Scenario information provided by B. Mullan, NIWA

15 15 Climate change scenarios: sea level Very rapidly moving area of science: IPCC model-based projections: 18-59cm by 2100 … … but no best estimate or upper limit. Acceleration of polar ice loss could lead to greater sea level rise. Recent studies suggest sea level rise could significantly exceed 1m by Sea level very likely to continue to increase for many more centuries beyond 2100.Recent studies suggest sea level rise could significantly exceed 1m by Sea level very likely to continue to increase for many more centuries beyond No convergence yet between recent studies. Uncertainty unlikely to be resolved in the next few years. Potential for rapid rise is a key reason for concern. Picture: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US

16 16 Climate change scenarios: extremes Extremes key part of climate change: Even a small change in mean climate can result in significant changes in climatic extremes.

17 17 Climate change scenarios: extremes average adapted range damage threshold expected annual average damage / costs Schematic example: changes in drought risk

18 18 Climate change scenarios: extremes adapted range expected annual average damage / costs damage threshold average Schematic example: changes in drought risk change in mean climate

19 19 Climate change scenarios: extremes adapted range expected annual average damage / costs damage threshold average Schematic example: changes in drought risk change in mean climate and in variability

20 20 Climate change scenarios: extremes Extremes key part of climate change: Changes in means imply altered frequency of extremes. Key climatic extremes: –extreme temperatures (hot days ↑, heat wave ↑, frost ↓) –heavy precipitation and flood risk ↑ –drought risk in eastern/northern regions ↑ –less certain: storm surge, storms, extratropical cyclones Quantitative projections currently difficult: –default: historical variability superimposed on trend –Regional Climate Model (RCM) key advance

21 21 Adapting to climate change less of a problem for NZ? –less warming than rest of world … … don’t be too sure about that: –sea level rise same as global average (if not more) –much smaller budget than larger countries … –… but same complexity and range of issues –decentralised approach to decision-making –high dependence on natural resources and exports –flow-on effect of global changes

22 22 Adaptation process Adaptation is a process involving various stakeholders Science sector Council/business Community Civil society Central/local govt Central govt guidance and support Local govt/business policies and plans Figure by R. Warrick, IGCI (Warrick, 2000)

23 23 Adaptation challenges When to adapt: reactive: wait for need/opportunity from climate change context-specific: when other pressures create opportunity proactive/planned: to avoid unsustainable lock-in Decisions require social value-judgements: discounting over time: are we prepared to incur short- term opportunity costs to avoid longer term risks? attitude to risk: how to handle low-probability/high- impact event; who pays if the unlikely event happens? sustainability trade-offs: how do we balance economic, social and environmental risks and gains?

24 24 Adaptation needs in various sectors Figure from IPCC WGII, Chapter 11: Hennessy et al, 2007

25 25 Climate change scenarios: summary 2 scenarios to highlight contrasting futures pattern of climate change in NZ broadly similar but much more pronounced under high carbon world climatic extremes change more rapidly/significantly than averages, and are often more relevant adaptation is a complex process involving multiple stakeholders and steps towards implementation value judgements are integral part of adaptation impacts and adaptation options in NZ depend on  climate and socio-economic changes  domestically and internationally

26 26 Adaptation needs in various sectors Figure from IPCC WGII, Chapter 11: Hennessy et al, 2007


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