An Introduction to General Circulation Modelling Experiments with Raised CO2

Harrison SP (1990). An Introduction to General Circulation Modelling Experiments with Raised CO2. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-90-027

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Abstract

The aim of the Environment Program is to provide the knowledge required for the development of policies aimed at ensuring environmental security. We recognize that the environmental issues cannot be treated in isolation if we are to achieve our goal. Environmental issues are closely linked with global concerns regarding increasing population, political and military security, technological and economic change, and humanitarian and social questions. Activities in the Program are therefore focussed on environmental problem areas which possess urgent needs for concise and realistic policy actions aimed at both reducing the stresses on the environment and implementing adjustment strategies. One of two themes in the Program is derived from expected global climate change caused by increasing atmospheric concentration of radiatively-active gases, and its consequences for managed and natural ecosystems, with particular emphasis on agriculture, forestry and water resources.

The following paper is aimed directly at the questions concerning our major source of information on future climate change, that is, climate described by general circulation models (GCMs) of the atmosphere. Each of the present suite of GCMs, used in exploring climate response, is designed to correctly characterize different aspects of atmospheric dynamics, and hence, none of them will produce the same estimated daily temperature or precipitation patterns. Perhaps more important, none of the GCMs were developed to assess climate response to radiatively-active gases. Hence, none of them are more than coincidentally suited for the task, and all have very serious deficiencies for the purpose. For these reasons, the author's discussion of the most prominent GCMs used in climate change assessment, and her comparison of their output characteristics, is a critical document for our progress on climate impacts research in the Environment Program. This paper fills a void in the literature, allowing the biologists, hydrologists, land planners. and agronomists involved in this research to understand the nature, strengths and weaknesses of predictions of climate response to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Environment Program - Core (ENC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:00
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 19:06
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3424

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