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Climate Scenarios for Decisions and Policies

Markku Rummukainen
DescriptionOur understanding of the Climate/Earth system builds on a wealth of present-day and historical observations as well as proxy data on past climates, our understanding of the laws of nature and experimentation with climate models. By combining these different sources of information, we have been able to find out about how climate has varied and changed in the course of time and possible reasons behind, as well as how the climate is behaving today, in our own time. For the present-day world, this knowledge is also needed to investigate how alternative decisions about development affect the future climate and how the observed global warming trend continues to unfold. The future is unobservable, and many decisions which matter for climate change remain to be taken during the next years and decades. This constitutes an uncertainty on our future climate, but also signifies that we can choose between different alternatives, such as a two-degree global warming or a four-degree world by the end of this century. Advanced climate models have very high HPC-requirements, but in return offer scientific means of projecting the outcome of near- and mid-term decisions of greenhouse gas emissions (and thus the underlying policy, investment, energy, technology, population and consumption trends) on mid- and long-term climate outcomes and subsequently climate impacts. This presentation highlights the utility of climate modelling for climate-related decisions and policies.

Presentation documents