Challenges in using probabilistic climate change information for impact assessments: an example from the water sector

Mark New, Ana Lopez, Suraje Dessai, Rob Wilby

Abstract

Climate change impacts and adaptation assessments have traditionally adopted a scenario-based approach, which precludes an assessment of the relative risks of particular adaptation options. Probabilistic impact assessments, especially if based on a thorough analysis of the uncertainty in an impact forecast system, enable adoption of a risk-based assessment framework. However, probabilistic impacts information is conditional and will change over time. We explore the implications of a probabilistic end-to-end risk-based framework for climate impacts assessment, using the example of water resources in the Thames River, UK. We show that a probabilistic approach provides more informative results that enable the potential risk of impacts to be quantified, but that details of the risks are dependent on the approach used in the analysis.

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Footnotes

  • One contribution of 13 to a Theme Issue ‘Ensembles and probabilities: a new era in the prediction of climate change’.

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