Thursday, 23 December 2010

What do scientists think about the BACC report? - A survey

To find out, what scientists from the Baltic Sea region think about the BACC-report, Dennis Bray, Marcus Reckermann and Hans von Storch conducted a "SurBACC" survey: Baltic Climate Scientists’ Assessment of Climate Change and Climate Science in the Baltic Sea Basin, which is published as a BALTEX Report.

The abstract reads:

The survey is an assessment of the perceptions of Baltic Sea region climate scientists. It was conducted with two goals in mind: the first, Baltic Sea region climate scientists’ perceptions of the climate change issues in general, the second an assessment of the levels of satisfaction with the BACC Report ‘Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin’ (2008).

On the issue of climate change in general, it is clear that a majority of the survey participants agree that climate change, be it of anthropogenic causes or otherwise, is occurring now. There is not so much certainty though as to attribution, i.e. natural versus anthropogenic causes. Many details were asked concerning aspects of climate modelling and responses are widely varied, both for climate models and for ocean models. The understanding of physical processes and the availability of data were assessed and, as would be expected in the course of any science, there is a reasonable level of agreement among the respondents that there is considerable room for improvement. There were mixed responses concerning the level of threat from both climate and sea level rise in the Baltic region, with climate change seen as a slightly higher threat, and no catastrophic scenarios were foreseen for the next 10 years at least.

As stated, the second section of the survey was for the purpose of the assessment of a comprehensive report on the state of climate change science as it pertains to the Baltic Region. Here the level of satisfaction with production and content of the report are quite favourable with claims that the report is significant for the advancement of climate change assessments for the Baltic Region but somewhat less significant for the advancements of regional sea level assessments. On nearly all accounts the estimates of change (changes to surface air temperature, changes in extreme events, etc.) are claimed to be reflected fairly well in the report. A large majority of respondents concluded that a second BACC Report would be worthy and significant contribution some time in the future.

Follow-Up of BACC - for the Metropolitan Area of Hamburg

Using the template of BACC, another regional assessment report about the scientifically legitimate knowledge about climate, climate change and impacts has been prepared and is now published – concerning the metropolitan area of Hamburg. Organized by the Norddeutsches Klimabüro of the Hamburg climate research consortium CLISAP (including the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht) the report was published by Springer Publishing as

von Storch, H., M. Claussen und KlimaCampus Autoren Team, 2010: Klimabericht für die Metropolregion Hamburg, Springer Verlag Heidelberg Dordrecht London New York, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-16035-6, 321 pp.

Similar to BACC and its interaction with HELCOM, the responsibility for the assessment was exclusively with “the scientists”, but the format and issues were determined together with the Senate of the City of Hamburg as well as the Ministry for the Environment in Schleswig Holstein.

A short version of the report has been printed as a booklet, which can be downloaded here. For more details refer to this web page.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Errors or shortcomings in the BACC book?

The BACC book has now been on the market for 3 years, and the editorial deadline was already in late 2006. Are there any errors or shortcomings which should have been known at that time? "Error" here means false references, figure captions, wrong figure labels, years, numbers etc. "Shortcoming" here means the neglection of published results which should have been mentioned in the book but for whatever reason did not make it into the book.