Keynote Lectures

Image

From left to right: Prof Wieslaw Maslowski, Prof Anders Levermann, Dr Eleanor Blyth, Prof John Pyle, Prof Alan Haywood, Prof Jakob Rhyner

Photo: private, Karkow (PIK), Sarah Christopher, Nathan Pitt, private, United Nations University


Topic 1: Coupled regional modelling

Prof Wieslaw Maslowski (USA)
Monday 23 September 12:00
Toward process-level regional modelling and prediction of Arctic climate system

Topic 2: Sea level rise in a warming climate: from global drivers to coastal impacts

Prof Anders Levermann (Germany)
Wednesday 25 September 11:15
Sea level rise - do we have to be afraid or just worried?

Topic 3: Land atmosphere interactions: from measurements to modelling

Dr Eleanor Blyth (United Kingdom)
Tuesday 24 September 10:45
Evaporation happens at all scales: can we use the turbulent flux data improve our models?

Topic 4: Atmospheric composition and climate: interactions between global and regional scales

Prof John Pyle (United Kingdom)
Wednesday 25 September 10:45
Lessons for international action from the Montreal Protocol

Topic 5: Extreme events across scales (past, present, future)

Prof Alan Haywood (United Kingdom)
Monday 23 September 12:30
Tipping points in the Earth system: a perspective from the past

Topic 6: Climate change adaptation as societal challenge

Prof Jakob Rhyner (Germany)
Tuesday 24 September 11:15
Community-based adaptation and disaster risk management – where climate meets society

See details below.


Topic 1: Coupled regional modelling

Prof Wieslaw Maslowski (USA)
Monday 23 September 12:00

Toward process-level regional modelling and prediction of Arctic climate system

The climate research community has been increasingly aware and supportive of the requirements to improve model physics at process levels, to advance regional climate modelling and prediction. At the same time, recent expansion of regional climate modelling for dynamical downscaling (e.g. the WCRP CORDEX Program) presents an opportunity to bridge the gap between the regional limitations of Earth System Models (ESMs) and the requirements by national to local stakeholders and decision makers to inform the development of future strategies and policies. Finally, the emerging exascale capability for high performance computing further motivates the process resolving fully coupled regional climate model configurations to improve model fidelity. The Arctic is one of the most challenging regions to model and predict climate change due to its complexity, including the marine and land cryosphere, small scale processes and interactions controlling its amplified re-sponse to global climate change. The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) has been developed and used to better understand the past and present operation of the Arctic System at process scales and to predict its change at time scales from days to decades. RASM is a high-resolution limited-area model, consisting of the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, land hydrology and river routing scheme components. Its domain is pan-Arctic, with the atmosphere and land components configured on a 50-km or 25-km grid. The ocean and sea ice components have four configuration options: 1/12°(~9.3km) or 1/48°(~2.4km) in the horizontal space and with 45 or 60 vertical layers. As a regional climate model, RASM requires boundary conditions along its lateral boundaries and in the upper atmosphere, which for simulations of the past to present are derived from global atmospheric reanalyses. This allows comparison of RASM results with observations in place and time to diag-nose and reduce model biases, which is a unique capability not available with global ESMs. In this talk, we will focus on process-level simulations, improvements to model physics offered by dynamical downscaling and subsequently on producing internally consistent realistic initial conditions to reduce errors and uncertainties in prediction of the evolution of Earth System. We will discuss the need for high model resolution and fine-tuning of many present parameterisations of sub-grid physical processes in varying model configurations. We also investigate sensitivity of simulated sea ice states to scale dependence of model parameters controlling ocean and sea ice dynamics, thermodynamics, and their coupling. Finally, selected RASM results will be presented to demonstrate gains of dynamical downscaling in comparison with observations and with the global reanalysis and forecasts.

Wieslaw Maslowski is a Research Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He received his MS at the University of Gdansk, Poland, in 1987 and Ph.D. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in 1994, both in Physical Oceanography. For the past three decades, Dr. Maslowski’s research interests have focused on Arctic climate, ocean circulation and dynamics, sea ice and ma-rine biogeochemistry. At the same time, he has heavily leveraged state-of-the-art high-performance computing, to advance Arctic science, modelling and predictive capability for the U.S. He has been and continues leading several multi-institutional projects, both research and computational, related to the development, improvements and use of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) for predictive understanding of the Arctic environment at time scales from weekly to decadal. Given that this region has become a new frontier for the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense, his research is of top rele-vance to help address the requirements and challenges for operating in a rapidly changing Arctic.


Topic 2: Sea level rise in a warming climate: from global drivers to coastal impacts

Prof Anders Levermann (Germany)
Wednesday 25 September 11:15

Sea level rise - do we have to be afraid or just worried?

Anders Levermann is a professor of Dynamics of the Climate System at the Institute of Physics of Potsdam University & Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Head of the research domain Complexity Science at the Potsdam Institute and Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia University in New York. He was a lead author of the sea-level chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5, IPCC-AR6). His research focuses on the tipping of systems, i.e. abrupt large-scale changes with potentially strong impacts on nature and society. Developing a dynamic model of economic damage propagation for the global production- and supply network, he is scientific coordinator of zeean (www.zeean.net), a data portal to collect, harmonize and provide information on the vulnerability and adaption of the global economic supply network. Professor Levermann has published more than 110 scientific articles, and also advises government representatives, members of parliament, political parties as well as economic stakeholders and jour-nalists pertaining to climate change. Anders Levermann is frequently giving presentations in the German Parliament and to other political and economic stakeholders (ca 20 talks per year). He is engaging in the public discourse on climate change through interviews (ca 50 per year) and articles in national and international newspapers (e.g. Washington Post, Huffington Post, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, etc.).


Topic 3: Land atmosphere interactions: from measurements to modelling

Dr Eleanor Blyth (United Kingdom)
Tuesday 24 September 10:45

Evaporation happens at all scales: can we use the turbulent flux data improve our models?

The timing of the energy and water exchanges of the land surface in response to the atmosphere has a profound impact on weather and climate. The dominant timing can range from hours to weeks depending on the physics and structure of the vegetation, soils and land surface as well as the type of rainfall. This presentation will explore several case studies where direct observations of evapora-tion have been used to inform this range temporal response. It was also explore the modelling approaches to represent these time scales.

Eleanor Blyth is a hydro-meteorologist and is group leader for Land surfaces Science at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford. She is Co-chair of iLEAPS Science Steering Committee. Her expertise is the role of the land surface in climate, meteorology and hydrology, with specialist expertise in Evapotranspiration and Land-Atmosphere Interactions. She is known for developing understanding of the physics of the three components of evapotranspiration: interception, transpiration and bare soil evaporation using observations and models and for innovative methods for evaluating Land-Atmosphere models. She also has in-depth knowledge about state-of-the-art land surface modelling and manages the largest Land Surface Model development group in the UK for JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator; see jules.jchmr.org) as well as developing the JULES UK community.


Topic 4: Atmospheric composition and climate: interactions between global and regional scales

Prof John Pyle (United Kingdom)
Wednesday 25 September 10:45

Lessons for international action from the Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol has been called the world’s most successful environmental agreement. This talk will explore the scientific background to the agreement, its implementation and its subsequent adjustments. Evidence for the success of the Protocol will be discussed, with reference both to the ozone layer and the coincidental climate benefits. Current threats to the Protocol will also be dis-cussed. The role played by the three expert assessment panels, which report to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, will be described.

John Pyle obtained a BSc in Physics at Durham University. His DPhil was in Oxford where he helped to develop a numerical model for stratospheric ozone studies. He moved to a lectureship at Cam-bridge University in 1985. He was the Head of the Department of Chemistry from 2015-2018. He has been a co-director of NERC’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) where he is the Chief Scientist. His research focuses on the numerical modelling of atmospheric chemistry and chemis-try/climate interactions. He has published more than 250 peer reviewed papers. He played a major role in building an EU stratospheric research programme in the 1990s, coordinating several major field campaigns. He has contributed to all the WMO/UNEP assessments on stratospheric ozone since the early 1980s and is now one of the four international Co-Chairs on the Scientific Assess-ment Panel, responsible for these assessments. He was a convening lead author in the IPCC Special report ‘Safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system’, published in 2006. His work on stratospheric ozone was recognized by NERC’s International Impact Award and Overall Impact Award in 2015, jointly with Dr Neil Harris. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004 and an AGU Fellow in 2011 and made a Commander of the British Empire in 2017. Other honours and awards include membership of Academia Europaea (1993), Royal Society of Chemistry (Interdisci-plinary award, 1991, and John Jeyes lectureship, 2008), the Royal Meteorological Society Adrian Gill Prize (2004) and the Royal Society’s Davy Medal in 2018.


Topic 5: Extreme events across scales (past, present, future)

Prof Alan Haywood (United Kingdom)
Monday 23 September 12:30

Tipping points in the Earth system: a perspective from the past

The existence of tipping points, or tipping elements in the Earth system, has been the subject of scientific discussion for many years. Whilst the geological record provides little indication that sud-den behavioural shifts in our climate system are truly irreversible, it does provide abundant evidence for rapid climate change. It appears entirely possible to shift the climate system into a new behavioural state which can be effectively considered irreversible within a societally meaningful timescale. Currently, there is an intense effort to better understand the thresholds of global temperature that should not be exceeded in order to avoid the consequences of dangerous climate change. An ade-quate understanding of the existence and dynamics of tipping points/elements is therefore central in this regard, as is an appreciation of the timescales over which certain global warming thresholds are to be avoided. Here the past climate record, and past climate simulation, can provide unique insights into the long-term sensitivity of the Earth system to variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, In addition it provides a way to see how tipping elements may be express themselves in the Earth system in the long-term. One interval in earth history which has received particular attention in this regard is the Pliocene epoch, specifically warm intervals within the late Pliocene. During these times the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is estimated to have been ~400 ppmv. Therefore, an opportunity exists to examine the long-term response of the Earth system to approximately cur-rent concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. In this talk we will review the evidence for large-scale climate and environmental tipping points during warm intervals of the late Pliocene, and what numer-ical models tell us about the dynamics of climate in a warmer world.

Alan Haywood is a palaeoclimatologist working at the University of Leeds since 2007 and was ap-pointed to Professor of Palaeoclimate Modelling in 2011. His principal research interests are the evo-lution and drivers of the global climate system over millions of years, climate variability (glob-al/regional) over different time scales (orbital to decadal/sub-decadal/modes of variability), warm periods in Earth history and their relevance to future climate change. He produced the first realization of Pliocene climate using a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model enabling the relative con-tribution of the oceans, atmosphere and ice sheets to be identified (HadCM3 and HadGEM2). He was the Co-Leader of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 1 between 2009-2014 and now Co-Leader of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 since 2015.


Topic 6: Climate change adaptation as societal challenge

Prof Jakob Rhyner (Germany)
Tuesday 24 September 11:15

Community-based adaptation and disaster risk management – where climate meets society

Community-based adaptation and disaster risk management have been widely discussed among scientists as well as practitioners, as a paradigm for locally appropriate solutions and ownership by the population. Yet the concept has remained somewhat elusive and hard to conceptualise. The presentation will try to shed light on community-based approaches by a couple of examples from different socioeconomic and cultural contexts, also juxtaposing community-based initiatives with top-down type approaches and considering the synergies and conflicts.

Since December 2018, Jakob Rhyner is professor for Global Change and Systemic Risks in the Fac-ulty of Agriculture and Scientific Director of the Innovation Campus Bonn, a joint project with the Center of Development Research (ZEF), United Nation University (UNU-EHS), University of Applied Science (FH Bonn Rhein-Sieg), the German Development Institute (DIE) and the International Center for Conversion (BICC). In 1988 he received a PhD in theoretical physics from ETH Zurich and then joined the industrial re-search center of ABB Ltd., where he was active in the modelling of electrical networks and compo-nents. In 2001 he moved to the Swiss Institute for Snow- and Avalanche Research in Davos, as head of the department Avalanche Warning and Risk Management. His main responsibilities were the Swiss national avalanche forecast and the development of risk management guidelines. 2006 he became head of the institute. 2011 he changed to the United Nation University of Bonn, as vice rec-tor and director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). The main research directions of UNU-EHS were social vulnerability, environmentally induced migration and climate insurance.