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Climate change and its impacts in the Latin America and Caribbean region
Convener: Raymond Arritt  | Co-Conveners: Maria Laura Bettolli , Ruth Cerezo-Mota , Tannecia Stephenson 
 / Attendance Wed, 11 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Studies of the causes and effects of climate change have gained a social significance rarely seen in the history of modern science. These studies rely on global and regional climate models to simulate the physical and dynamical processes of the atmosphere-ocean-land system that regulate climate. The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region poses special challenges for these models because the region is prone to extreme events and includes topographic features such as steep mountain ranges, complex coastlines, and small islands that are resolved coarsely if at all in present-generation climate models. Requirements for climate information include not only the calculation of climate projections, but also the generation of useful and usable products for decision-makers. This session will explore the following topics relevant to assessing climate change and its impacts focusing on the LAC region:

1) Implementation and validation of global and regional climate models for the LAC region, including coordinated efforts such as CMIP5 and CORDEX (Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment) as well as new developments such as coupled earth system models and integrated assessment models.

2) Climatology and trends in extreme and high-impact hydrometeorological events: floods and droughts, cold and heat waves, tropical cyclones and tornadoes.

3) Dynamical and statistical downscaling of global climate models for the different global warming scenarios reported in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (including implications for a 1.5degree C warming). Quantification of value added by downscaling also is relevant, including how value added depends on time scales, locations, and specific variables of interest.

4) Studies of vulnerability, impacts and adaptation (VIA) to climate change, including development of decision-relevant climate products.