Weather and climate extremes are likely to be one of the largest societal challenges associated with climate change in this century. Under climate change, these extreme events will intensify and become more frequent, and consequently the risk of severe and costly damage for humans and infrastructure will increase.
Changes in weather and climate extremes in the near and long term will be driven by consequences of man-made climate change as well as by processes related to natural climate variability. Decision-making for adaptation planning is challenged to take into account the range of variability and change associated with these extremes when considering factors such as long-term investments in urban infrastructure. More reliable estimations of the variability and change in weather and climate extremes and improved methods of incorporating associated uncertainties in decision-making will help to guide future adaptation measures.
The ClimateXL project brings together national and international experts from climate sciences, statistics and economics to investigate uncertainties related to simulations of climate extremes in climate models and, in so doing, improve our understanding of present and future changes in climate extremes. Based on the analysis of large ensembles of global climate models (GCMs), we will investigate robust relationships between important large-scale atmospheric patterns that determine near- and long-term variability in climate extremes. This knowledge will be used to improve climate model evaluation techniques and will further feed into cutting-edge approaches to decision-making for adaptation planning to better prepare for potential impacts of weather and climate extremes on infrastructure due to climate change.
ClimateXL is a four-year (2015-2019) research project fully funded by the Research Council of Norway. Important partners in Norway are CICERO, the Norwegian Computing Centre, and Uni Research AS. Partners abroad include ETH Zurich (CH), the Pacific Climate Impact Consortium (CAN), Berkeley Lab (USA) and LSCE-CNRS (France). In the course of the project, we aim to involve Norwegian stakeholders to strengthen the integration of user needs and advances in scientific knowledge.