CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Storylines or event-based narratives are an alternative way to communicate and illustrate risks associated with climate change. Photo by Jonathan Ford /Unsplash.

Organizers: Jana Sillmann, Ted Shepherd, Bart van den Hurk, Wilco Hazeleger, Olivia Martius, Jakob Zscheischler.

Local Host: CICERO

Read the report from this workshop here. 

While narratives or storylines have been used for decades in social sciences and beyond (e.g. RCPs, SSPs, economic risk assessment), the concept of analyzing and communicating high-impact weather extreme events in the climate change context via storylines has recently gained quite some popularity in the climate modeling community.

For instance, the use of case studies or storylines that could illustrate climate risk narratives has been discussed in the recent IPCC expert meeting for regional climate information. This also calls for an expert discussion on challenges/pitfalls and best practices for the creation of credible storylines of high-impact weather or climate features using (high-resolution) physical modeling and knowledge creation.

The storyline approach is believed to support the decision-making process by explicitly referring to personalized experiences with recent events, or creating unprecedented combinations of conditions that may aggravate the impact of weather events. Further, storylines can help to describe and understand complex interactions between the physical, ecological, economic and societal aspects of climate change related to a specific extreme or compound event.

As an example, in the TWEX project, model experiments have been performed to simulate one particular storyline about a high-impact flooding event in Norway based on current process-understanding. Particular emphasis was given on exploiting a full model chain from a high-resolution Earth System model to a convection permitting Numerical Weather Prediction model to hydrological impact modeling. Various challenges as well as surprises have been experienced when simulating such a very localized event under present and future conditions.


Storylines are also a useful way to investigate and communicate compound events, which are in the focus of the COST Action (CA17109) DAMOCLES “Understanding and modeling compound climate and weather events”. 

As a cross-Working Group meeting of DAMOCLES, this meeting is funded by COST


The outcome of the workshop will provide a critical component to the implementation of the WCRP Strategic Plan 2019-2028, in support of innovation in the generation of decision-relevant information and knowledge about the evolving Earth system through the framework of the WCRP Grand Challenge on Weather and Climate Extremes


In this workshop, we will review the current approaches to generate event-based storylines using physical modelling, and explore how they can be most effectively integrated into the wider climate information landscape in a way that helps climate communication and policies.

The workshop is divided into thematic sessions, consisting of a series of short talks followed by breakout sessions, in which we will discuss a number of questions and formulate recommendations for future application of event-based storylines.

The range of topics covered includes:

  • What are the challenges and advantages of this storyline approach (basically picking a particular event) compared to the full probabilistic approach?
  • How can storylines or narratives of specific events be combined with probabilistic approaches?
  • What kind of models (GCM, RCM, convection-permitting, impact models) are required to support the storyline approach, and are useful to include in a model chain approach?
  • What should be considered when designing the model experiments for localized events (e.g., resolution, ensemble size and design, choice of scenario/forcing/initial conditions)?
  • What are useful approaches to combine physical with statistical modeling and the knowledge from other domains (e.g., social sciences, impact modeling)?


The outcome of the workshop will be a peer-reviewed paper, providing a perspective on best-practice of physical modeling to accompany narratives of high-impact extreme and compound events and associated risks under climate change; assuming that storylines are a useful communication tool to connect climate information to decision making.



Wednesday 24 April, from 12:00-18:00, followed by dinner:

Session 1: Event-based storyline approaches. 

(Speakers: Julia Slingo, Douglas Maraun, Andreas Zischg, Geert Lenderink)

Breakout groups

Dinner at Ekebergrestauranten, Kongsveien 15, Oslo


Thursday 25 April, from 09:00-17:30:

Session 2: Generic/sector-based approaches. 

(Speakers: Alex Hall, Gordon Woo, Trine Jahr Hegdahl)

Breakout groups

Session 3: Storylines as evidence. 

(Speakers: Liese Coulter, Elisabeth Lloyd, Adam Sobel, Pascal Yiou)

Breakout groups

Early career scientist presentations

(Speakers: William Ball, Marisol Osman, Karin van der Wiel, Francesco Ragone, Aglaé Jézéquel) 


Friday 26 April, from 09:00-14:30:

Session 4: Wider perspectives on event-based storylines

(Speakers: Melissa Bukovsky, Detlef van Vuuren, Katja Frieler)

Breakout groups



You can download a more detailed agenda here, and all the presentations here


Practical information

The workshop will be held at Oslo Science Park. Click here for information on how to get here from the Oslo city centre and from Oslo's main airport, Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen.

Arrival in Oslo and airport transfer: 

Oslo's only airport, Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen, is located 45 km from the city centre. The fastest way to downtown Oslo is by Flytoget, the airport express train, which takes you to the city center in 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs NOK 190 and you can buy them at the orange ticket machines or the Flytoget app. Trains run every ten minutes from 05:35 to 00:35.

However, the cheapest way to get to the city centre is to take the regional train (NSB) that connects the airport with Oslo S (the main railway station). The price is NOK 101 and the journey takes 23 minutes. You can buy tickets for this train on the red ticket machines, or on the NSB app.

Click here for more information about transportation to and from Oslo Airport Gardermoen.


There are lots of different hotels in various price ranges in Oslo. Here are three that are located in close proximity both to the Oslo city centre and to Oslo Science Park.

  • Comfort Hotel® Grand Central - near Oslo's main train station, Oslo S. Rooms from NOK 1054 per night.
  • Scandic Victoria Oslo - located in a very nice area right in the middle of the Oslo city centre. Rooms from NOK 1235 per night.
  • Thon Hotel Munch - a bed and breakfast style hotel in a quiet area within walking distance of the Oslo city centre. Rooms from NOK 716 per night.

For more information about these hotels, click here.