Latest climate science implications for Wales


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Vicky Pope, Dec 2012

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  • 485 mm rainfall for Wales summer 2012 Average – 270.6mm Wettest June on record – 205mm (avg 86.2mm)
  • Increasing model resolution Observing the current state of the global climate system A seamless approach to modelling prediction Regional-scale modelling and services
  • The Vuvuzela of seamless prediction: The Met Office is able to make predictions on all timescales from now until a century ahead. Analysis of past weather data is also useful to understand weather risks today – for example what is the likelihood of a particular storm event occurring. On longer timescales the confidence boundary gets wider – however if the climate information is applied in an appropriate manner it provides extremely useful information to inform adaptation decision making.
  • United Kingdom Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) In 2009 the Met Office Hadley Centre, in partnership with others, published the latest comprehensive climate projections for the UK. This DEFRA funded, 7 year project has concentrated on providing the UK with climate projections that will enable risk based decision-making and tailored impacts studies. The latest projections are therefore probabilistic in nature, providing PDFs of climate variables throughout many periods over this century at a horizontal resolution of 25km. The predictions were generated using Met Office Hadley Centre global and regional climate models using the different economic scenarios developed by the IPCC. Uncertainties in key climate governing processes (ocean, atmosphere, carbon cycle) and natural variability are represented along with information from different global models. Information is supplied for a range of climate variables on monthly, seasonal and annual timescales and has also been aggregated for particular regions of the UK such as administration regions and river basins. This information is the basis on which the UK government wants the country to prepare and adapt to climate change. Applications for advising e.g. wind power, water services
  • UKCP09 impacts for Wales -hotter, drier summers -Increase in extremely warm days -Milder wetter winters -Reduction in snowfall and frost -Increased frequency of intense rainfall events -Decrease groundwater levels -Increased flooding of low-lying coastal areas UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (DEFRA, Welsh Assembly funding) - Uses UKCP09 projections (created by Met Office) The Met Office acts to ensure quality control of applications of UKCP09 information, and its application to sector impacts. The Met Office are involved at all levels of the science and application. Energy sector champion and analyst Regional workshop for Wales on 21 September.
  • Climate Change Adaptation Planning Guide: This schematic gives the user a guide to when the energy industry should plan and adapt to climate change, based on the results of this project. The assessment is based on a judgement of the level of risk posed by climate change across the UK. In practice, adaptation plans will need to be location specific and should take in to account the resilience of the existing infrastructure. Examples of EP2 achievements: Investigated future wind resource, enabling the industry to understand the continued uncertainty of future wind power. This will assist risk management and investment decisions. Modelled future soil conditions and their impact on cables. This has helped companies understand the cost and benefits of installing cables for a more resilient future network. Built a tool to enable UK coastal and marine sites of interest to be screened to assess if sea level rise should be considered in more detail. Investigated how the urban heat island effect may change in the future, so that network companies can develop plans for their infrastructure in cities. Examples of some of the project’s findings: With a few exceptions, such as the thermal ratings of equipment and apparatus, there is currently no evidence to support adjusting network design standards. For example, existing design standards for overhead line conductors do not require change. Soil conditions will change — higher temperatures and seasonal differences in soil moisture are expected. Future conditions could be included in cable rating studies by increasing average summer soil temperatures in the models by approximately 0.5 °C per decade. The output of thermal power stations (and in particular combined cycle gas turbines) could be suppressed, with higher air temperature meaning lower air density and lower mass flow. Conditions at each location should be considered, especially during redesign or new build and, if appropriate, adaptation planned. Historical climatologies are no longer valid because climate is not stationary. The new climatologies that take account of climate change are already being adopted and will improve demand forecasting and planning out to 10 years ahead.
  • Latest climate science implications for Wales

    1. 1. Latest climate scienceImplications for WalesVicky PopeDec 2012© Crown copyright Met Office
    2. 2. Latest climate science Implications for Wales • What future extremes should we prepare for? • How can science inform future investments? • How resilient are our assets to future change?© Crown copyright Met Office
    3. 3. What future extremesshould we prepare for?
    4. 4. UK cold winter December 2010 Coldest December on record in Wales -3.8 degC Record minimum: -18.0 deg C at Llysdinam (Powys) 28 November 2010• The odds of the cold December 2010 temperatures have halved as a result of human-induced climate change• Unusual circulation patterns can still bring very cold winter months Christidis and Stott, Met Office Massey et al, University of Oxford, Met Office 4
    5. 5. Extreme weather From drought... 2 dry wintersOct 2010 – March 2012 Rainfall % of 1971-2000 average
    6. 6. Extreme weather flood Wettest June on record (180% of average)2 dry winters 3rd wettest summer on record for Wales Summer 2012 Rainfall (240% of average) % of 1971-2000 average
    7. 7. How can science inform future investments?
    8. 8. The Big Prize• Predicting extremes in weather and climate in the near term • Understanding and observing the global climate system • Translating hazardous weather into societal impacts• Projecting what will happen in a warmer world in the long term • From global to local scale, centuries to minutes – a seamless approach • Risk-based forecasting for society, government and business © Crown copyright Met Office
    9. 9. State of the art weather forecastingIncreased accuracy of forecasts including bettermeasures of probability Chance of heavy rain
    10. 10. Seamless prediction Supporting decision making Now Decadal Climate Seasonal 1-month Hours Days 1-weekPast climate Confidence boundaryAnalysis of past weatherobservations to manageclimate risks Monthly to decadalEg. Agriculture: this informs predictions informscrop choice and planting Predicting routine and probability of drought, cold,date to optimise yields and hazardous weather heat. Global and regional climateminimise crop failure risk. conditions and Contingency planners, predictions. disseminating tailored and national and international Informs mitigation policy timely warnings. humanitarian response, and adaptation choices. Public, emergency government and private Impacts on water response, international infrastructure investment resources, heat stress, disaster risk reduction crops, infrastructure. Forecast lead-time
    11. 11. Moving from uncertainty to probabilities/likelihoods UKCP09UKCIP02 Very unlikely Central Very unlikelySingle to be less estimate to be moreprojection Summer Rainfall 2080’s than (10%) (50%) than (90%)
    12. 12. How resilient are ourassets to future change?
    13. 13. - Hotter, drier summers?? Impacts - Milder wetter winters - Reduction in snowfall and frost - Increased frequency of intense rainfall events - Decrease groundwater levels - Increased flooding of low-lying coastal areasSea level change (central probability estimate)Medium emission scenario: 22 cm by 2050 60 High Medium Sea level rise (relative 1990) [cm] 50 Low 40 30 20 10 Cardiff % change in flood 0 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 2070 2080 2090 2095 frequency of 2-year return period flow
    14. 14. EP2 Headline results© Crown copyrightMet Office
    15. 15. Response to climate change: Multi-disciplinary and multi- sector partnerships UKCP09: UK Climate Projections 2009 Adaptation planning: CCRAScience partnerships: Climate Sciencee.g. Joint Weather and Climate Data Climate Research Climate Projections AVOID: Avoiding dangerous Partnership Weather forecasts climate change Met Office Academic Science advice for policy partnership Interpretation for key makers Extreme weather stakeholders initiative Wales Climate Science Research Partnership Improved science and capacity in sub-Saharan Africa © Crown copyright Met Office
    16. 16. 1.5km resolution climate model Resolution of Welsh terrain Mountains Mountains (130km grid) (60km grid)Best long- State-of-artterm climate seasonalmodels, modelUKCP09 Mountains Mountains (25km grid) (1.5km grid)Current Current UKglobal weatherweather forecastingforecasting + ground- breaking climate work
    17. 17. Opportunities for partnership Extreme Weather Initiative Wales• 1.5km model: extreme rainfall in South Wales catchments – 20 year hourly rainfall compared with observations for 1.5km grid and catchment – Benefits of 1.5km model vs 2km driving model for Wales• 1.5 km model: Climate change over South Wales – Use Welsh High Performance Computing – Extra model runs to complement time snapshots run at Met Office. • Extract climate change signal from the noise due to climate variability – Projections of rainfall where model is skilful for present day – Implications for climate change advice and flood risk planning in Wales