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Translating Weather Extremes into the Future – a case for Norway

TWEX-Future.no will be taking a novel “Tales of future weather” approach. This approach suggests that scenarios tailored to a specific region and stakeholder in combination with numerical weather prediction models will offer a more realistic picture of what future weather might look like, hence facilitating adaptation planning and implementation.

Recent high-impact flood events in Norway have emphasized the need for more proactive climate change adaptation. This requires local, actionable and reliable climate information to support the decision making as well as awareness and consideration of barriers to adaptation. Thus, a seamless chain from global climate system modelling to high resolution hydrological modelling to impact assessments is needed.

TWEX-Future.no will address these challenges by taking a novel “Tales of future weather” approach. This approach suggests that scenarios tailored to a specific region and stakeholder in combination with numerical weather prediction models will offer a more realistic picture of what future weather might look like, hence facilitating adaptation planning and implementation.

Climate change projections clearly indicate that heavy precipitation events will increase particularly in higher northern latitudes. Large-scale dynamical processes, such as atmospheric rivers that evolve from extra-tropical cyclones and cause anomalous strong orographic rainfall are characteristic for flood events at the west coast of Norway. To capture such events in realistic details, the current approach of downscaling coarse-resolution global climate model simulations has critical shortcomings.

In TWEX-Future.no, we will use case studies of high-impact flood events selected jointly with Norwegian stakeholders, such as Statkraft, and perform a holistic autopsy of the events (physical hazard, vulnerability, and barriers to adaptation). Selected events will then be simulated in the present and future using a combination of high-resolution global Earth system models and regional Numerical Weather Prediction models, while maintaining the stakeholder’s operational chain for analyzing the impacts of the event in the future. This will provide a valuable basis to explore, in a Norwegian context, whether the “Tales of Future Weather” approach offers added-value to current practice.