Activities in CRES are centered around six focused science work blocks (WBs) plus one management WB.
The core of CRES is formed by four major research WBs. Three of these provide improved understanding and reduction in uncertainty of future change with respect to: climate and sea level (WB2), hydrology (WB3) and biosphere (WB4), while the fourth, by assembling and utilising a new regional change tool (WB7) throughout the centre’s lifetime, will be provisioning the CRES knowledge base with new products. An adopted common methodology will utilise paleostudies to provide (i) ‘back-casting’ tests of our regional models and (ii) hint at the processes that need to be included into improved models.
Besides the strategic need from a Danish user viewpoint, a regional focus is required because (a) it allows for better validation, (b) it is closer to the scale at which actual climate change related management occurs, and (c) some regions are more vulnerable in biophysical and /or socio-economic terms than are others (hotspots).
The main region of interest will be ‘our region’ from Greenland to the Baltic.
One work block (WB5) is thematic driven and supportive in nature and deal with generic issues that occur in each of the main blocks, but require dedicated efforts to ensure progress. A second thematic work block (WB6) will draw upon the expressed needs defined by the CRES practitioners and formulate cases that by introducing integrated assessments will use and feed back on activities in the main research WBs. Finally, given the diversity of research agendas and needs for coordination to meet some of the emerging user requirements, managing CRES requires special attention deserving an entire work block in itself (WB1). This WB will ensure that the most important outcomes of CRES reach those in need of updated scientifically based understanding, of climate change issues, and quantitative scenarios as well as further assistance on the interpretation of these. Also, WB1 focuses on international collaboration between the CRES community and top researchers in the relevant fields, primarily in the Nordic region, a wider Europe, as well as North America. Finally, it ensures effective and timely communication though workshops, networks, joint research programs and guest programs and exchange of data and expertise between CRES components, partners and the external user community.
Work Block 1 - 7
WB1 CENTRE FUNCTIONS (Lead: DMI)
WB1 contains the centre functions, practitioner involvement, open door policy management, education and dissemination
WB2 CHANGES IN CLIMATE AND SEA LEVEL (Lead: NBI, co-lead: DMI)
WB2 deals with the remote influence on regional climate change. Without a well based framing of the regional climate change problem within an understanding and appreciation of the large scale and remote drivers of regional change, it is impossible to reduce or even assess uncertainties in regional to local climate change predictions. Global climate modelling and new scenarios of climate change and a focus on the contribution to sea level rise from a possible enhanced runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet are essential ingredients to advance the current level of understanding. In addition, the large scale information will support the regional modelling efforts within WB7.
WB3 CHANGES IN HYDROLOGY (Lead: GEUS, co-lead: DHI)
WB3 deals with assessment of climate change impacts on rural and urban hydrology such as changes in soil moisture, groundwater tables, river flows and urban stormwater flows. These results will be used to analyse changes in extreme events like floods and droughts and will be further used to study changes of ecosystem functions in WB4. Model-based impact assessment tools will be developed so that they can operate on outputs from the new climate scenarios and the statistical downscaling tools developed in WB7. Uncertainties on assessed hydrological changes will be illustrated for selected cases and recommendations for policy makers and practitioners will be prepared.
WB4 CHANGES IN BIOSPHERE (Lead: DJF, co-lead: KU LIFE)
WB4 deals with the effects of climate change on managed and semi-managed terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and their feedback effects on the climate system through impacts on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land use change. Modelling tools will be developed to allow integrated assessments of climate change impacts on the biosphere at catchment scale. Impact analysis will be conducted with a focus on assessing uncertainties in projected impacts and the effects of extreme events on biosphere interactions. This will form the basis for addressing adaptation issues of relevance to practitioners and policy makers.
WB5 EXTREME EVENTS AND TIPPING POINTS (Lead: NERI (DMU), co-lead: KU LIFE)
Many components of the Earth system exhibit non-linear responses to climate – examples are the frequency of storms, the outbreak of pests, diseases and yield fluctuations in food crops and lakes response to changes in nutrient loading and climate. This non-linearity means that they are sensitive to changes in extremes and not just changes in average climate. Climate models poorly capture the occurrence of extremes and tipping point drivers and impact models for food, hydrology and ecosystems capture only occasionally include such non-linearities. This WB will contribute to international and national efforts to resolve these issues.
WB6 INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT APPLIED TO CASES (Lead: DTU Environment, co-lead DTU Klima Center)
WB6 deals with an integrated assessment of 2 case studies in an urban and river catchment setting based on the outcome of WB2, 3 and 4. Multiple hydrological, biophysical, and socioeconomic impacts are assessed in an integrated manner as a basis for decision making. The assessment will be based on economic and other risk assessment approaches for handling climate impacts and adaptation measures. The Basque Centre for Climate Change assists in developing economic approaches for integrated assessment of climate risks and adaptation options.
WB7 FROM UNCERTAINTY TO RISK MANAGEMENT (Lead: DTU Klima Center, co-lead: DMI)
The CRES engine is the development of a new and much advanced regional climate change tool, which is capable of providing more constrained regional climate change information and at the same time utilise this information in a comprehensive manner to assist adaptation strategies in the Danish society. The underlying rationale is that by assembling and applying more advanced coupled models of the regional climate system, uncertainties in climate projections are reduced in so far as structural uncertainties (uncertainties originating from inaccurate handling of important feed back processes, not easily quantifiable) are concerned. Next this information is streamlined to feed into a risk management framework, which will build not only upon this regional climate model, but on the experience gathered from the combined efforts within all CRES science work blocks. The framework will address multiple physical and socioeconomic climate change impacts as a basis for the identification of cost effective climate change adaptation options for Denmark.