From emissions to climate impacts and back again
- Start date: 1 May 2020
- End date: 30 April 2023
- Funder: NERC
- Value: £383,835
- Partners and collaborators: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria; University of Oxford, UK
- Primary investigator: Dr Chris Smith
- Co-investigators: 00963946
- External co-investigators: Keywan Riahi, IIASA; Thomas Gasser, IIASA; Myles Allen, Oxford
This collaborative research fellowship will assess two gaps in the existing climate and energy modelling framework.
It will firstly integrate climate change impacts into simple climate model emulators that are used to derive temperature scenarios from global emissions pathways such as those projected from integrated assessment models (IAMs). It will allow users to determine more impact-relevant climate change metrics, like extremes in temperature, or sea-level rise, from emissions scenarios than global mean temperature, allowing a more complete impact assessment from future emissions scenarios.
The second key gap that this research addresses is the lack of representation of how climate change and climate impacts affect energy decision making in IAMs, where climate change may both make some energy resources more or less efficient or favourable in certain regions, and affect the demand for energy in different locations and times of the year.
This project is designed to be mutually beneficial to the NERC and IIASA research communities. At IIASA, I will contribute towards their open-source integrated assessment model (IAM) development and contribute knowledge on climate change impacts, bringing skills from climate modelling, energy and software development. In the UK I will develop capacity in energy systems and integrated assessment modelling. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be a key beneficiary of this research. Working Group 1 (WG1) will benefit from an open-source, fully calibrated (to the latest climate model data) simple climate model that will contribute to the Sixth Assessment Report. Working Group 3 (WG3) will have a simple open-source model with which to assess the many hundreds of emissions pathways considered in that report.