T2.

13 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

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Estimating uncertainty in future assessments of climate change
Climate change is likely to influence the frequency of extreme weather events that lead to impacts such as flooding. However, climate change predictions usually provide information only on changes in average conditions. Policy-makers in particular require information about changes in climate variability and extremes, and the uncertainty associated with such predictions. Peter Challenor, from the Southampton Oceanography Centre, and colleagues are investigating the impact of uncertainty on the Tyndall Centre's Integrated Assessment Model. The researchers will produce simplified emulations of each module contributing to the model and run these a large number of times to examine how small changes in input data influence the output. This will enable them to analyse the extent to which uncertainty increases as observed and simulated data move from one module to another. They will also examine how the model's uncertainty is influenced by the inclusion of expert knowledge, particularly relating to social impacts and adaptation. In addition, the researchers will analyse the accuracy of the model's simulation of rare events to provide estimates of future extremes, such as high temperatures and heavy rainfall, and estimates of the associated uncertainty. As well as providing numerical estimates of uncertainty using statistical terms, the researchers will also investigate ways to provide estimates of uncertainty in terms of vagueness and other plain language that can be easily understood and readily used. The results will provide users of the Tyndall Centre's Integrated Assessment Model with a measure of confidence in the simulations produced. This will provide researchers, policy-makers, industry, NGOs and other stakeholders with additional information about the spread of values associated with predictions of how their decisions will influence climate change impacts. The analysis of uncertainty will also benefit simulations in other Tyndall projects, such as those modelling the impact of sea level rise on the UK coastline.

Simulated changes in summer temperatures for the 2080s vary depending on different emissions scenarios. Uncertainties increase when climate projections are combined with other simulations to provide an integrated assessment of climate change. A new Tyndall project is examining the uncertainty associated with different types of observed data, predictions and expert knowledge, and will provide likelihood estimates of future extreme weather events. © UKCIP02 scenarios (funded by DEFRA, produced by Tyndall and Hadley Centres for UKCIP) More information Contact the lead investigator of Project T2.13 (Uncertainties in the integrated assessment process):

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T2.13 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

Mr Peter Challenor Southampton Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO14 3ZH UK Phone: +44 (0) 23 8059 6413; Fax: +44 (0) 23 8059 6400 Email: P.Challenor@soc.soton.ac.uk Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr Jim Hall and Dr Jonathan Lawry, University of Bristol Dr Jonathan Rougier and Professor Michael Goldstein, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Durham Professor Tony O'Hagan, Department of Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield Dr Rachel Warren and Dr Larissa Naylor, Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia Project duration: September 2002 to August 2005 Useful web sites: The Tyndall Centre: www.tyndall.ac.uk Statistical Analysis of Computer Code Outputs: maths.dur.ac.uk/stats/SACCO University of Bristol Artificial Intelligence: www.enm.bris.ac.uk/ai University of Durham Department of Mathematical Sciences: www.maths.dur.ac.uk/stats/physpred University of Sheffield Department of Probability and Statistics: www.shef.ac.uk/~pas/research/bayes

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