Tuesday, 12 February 2013

HELCOM Workshop discusses recent findings and options to cope with climate change

A HELCOM Workshop on Climate Change was organized on 5 and 6 February 2013 in Warnemünde, Germany, in conjunction with BALTEX. The most recent climate change findings were presented by BACC II authors and other experts. Scientists and stakeholders were present to discuss these results and possible options to cope with climate change and its impacts on the Baltic Sea ecosystem.

A podium discussion with scientists and stakeholders and expert breakout discussion rounds elaborated a number of proposals. Presentations given at the workshop can be downloaded from the HELCOM website here... The conclusion document together with the agenda and a list of participants can be directly downloaded here....


Hans von Storch said...

As co-chairman of BACC-2, I was asked to present a preliminary summary of BACC-2. What I presented was the summary of the earlier Tallin-2012 meeting, and it can be downloaded here.

Key assertions are

- New assessment finds results of BACC I valid
- Significant detail and additional material has been found and assessed. Some contested issues have been reconciled (e.g. sea surface temperature trends)
- Ability to run multi-model ensembles seems a major addition; first signs of detection studies, but attribution still weak
- Regional climate models still suffer from partly severe biases; the effect of certain drivers (aerosols, land use change) on regional climate statistics cannot be described by these models.
- Homogeneity is still a problem and sometimes not taken seriously enough
- The issue of multiple drivers on ecosystems and socio-economy is recognized, but more efforts to deal with are needed
- In many cases, the relative importance of different drivers, not only climate change, needs to be evaluated.

Hans von Storch said...

The Warnemünde workshop was certainly a most useful exercise, and I would consider the presentation of the preliminary BACC results well done - and distributed among several participants from different countries (me among them, with the overall summary).

On the other hand, the workshop was to some extent biased in its composition, in as much as most participants were Germans, either from the Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde, with its preference for ecological issues, or representatives of organizations from or closely related to environmental administrations of Germany.

While this has no bearing on the assessment of climate change and impact itself, it may have a significant bearing for the formulation of recommendations