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An integrated approach to modelling future climate change impacts

Dr Peter Falloon, Met Office Hadley Centre

Monday 11 June 2012, 1400-1500
Lecture Theatre 1, Fylde College

LEC Seminar

Abstract: Future climate change is projected to have major impacts on important sectors in many different regions of the world. To date, the majority of impact assessments have taken a sector-specific approach - for example, studying future impacts on water supply or agricultural production in isolation. In reality, there are strong linkages between impacts in different sectors in a changing climate.

For example, water systems may be affected by climate change both directly and indirectly, and these changes may in turn impact agriculture. Direct climate impacts on water systems may include changes to the location, amounts, timing and intensity of precipitation, or to patterns of snowmelt, evaporation and runoff entering rivers, and changes in groundwater recharge rates. Indirect impacts may occur as a result of changes to water management practices, and other responses to a changing climate.

As another example, if higher summer temperatures increase domestic and industrial water demands, this may increase abstraction of freshwater from rivers and groundwater, reducing river flows and increasing competition for water with agriculture and other users. Conversely, some adaptive water management practices may benefit agriculture.

This means that an integrated approach needs to be taken to fully understand future the impacts of climate change on society. This talk will highlight why an integrated approach to climate impacts is needed, and illustrate the work of the Met Office Hadley Centre's Climate Impacts Team towards this aim.

All welcome.