Climate impact assessments are an essential basis for the development of appropriate response strategies, be it in a climate prediction or a climate change context. In this respect, the linking of climate model simulations to impact models requires the definition of an interface, bridging several inherent information gaps between both model types (such as the frequent mismatch between the provided and the required temporal and spatial resolution). In its widest sense, the linking between climate and impact models ranges from the simple application of climate indicators, to more sophisticated top-down approaches (e.g. statistical downscaling techniques), to bottom-up techniques like response surfaces, and – ultimately - to an explicit online coupling of both model types. Despite this variety of methods and applications, providers and users frequently face a number of methodological challenges and contextual demands:
̶ Is there a most appropriate method to link climate and impact models for a given application?
̶ How dependent are the impact results on the coupling method used?
- To what degree is probabilistic information from climate model data providers used to explore uncertainties in climate impacts?
̶ How large are the uncertainties introduced by the linkage of climate data and impact model and how do uncertainties propagate through the model chain?
̶- What variables or climate indices are essential and what are the minimum quality standards required by the different impact communities?
̶ Can the physical consistency be ensured during the coupling process and - if not – which limitations arise from this shortcoming?
̶ Can the coupling interface properly account for changes in extreme events?
The suggested session invites all contributions that address one or more of the raised questions or additional ones by e.g., case studies, comparisons of methods, application of new methods, or by uncovering new limitations. We especially welcome contributions from:
- different impact disciplines (e.g. hydrology, agriculture, cryosphere and others)
- climate model data providers
- climate service centres
- international projects working on the interface between climate and impact models (e.g. COST-VALUE)
The overall aim of the session is to enforce the scientific exchange between the different communities and to promote a joint effort on improving impact assessment techniques.