Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
Schewe, Jacob ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Reyer, Christopher ; Zhao, Fang ; Ciais, Philippe ; Elliott, Joshua ; Francois, Louis ; Huber, Veronika ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Seneviratne, Sonia I. ; Vliet, Michelle T.H. Van; Vautard, Robert ; Wada, Yoshihide ; Breuer, Lutz ; Büchner, Matthias ; Carozza, David A. ; Chang, Jinfeng ; Coll, Marta ; Deryng, Delphine ; Wit, Allard De; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Folberth, Christian ; Frieler, Katja ; Friend, Andrew D. ; Gerten, Dieter ; Gudmundsson, Lukas ; Hanasaki, Naota ; Ito, Akihiko ; Khabarov, Nikolay ; Kim, Hyungjun ; Lawrence, Peter ; Morfopoulos, Catherine ; Müller, Christoph ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Orth, René ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Pokhrel, Yadu ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. ; Sakurai, Gen ; Satoh, Yusuke ; Schmid, Erwin ; Stacke, Tobias ; Steenbeek, Jeroen ; Steinkamp, Jörg ; Tang, Qiuhong ; Tian, Hanqin ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Volkholz, Jan ; Wang, Xuhui ; Warszawski, Lila - \ 2019
Nature Communications 10 (2019). - ISSN 2041-1723
Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.
Assessing the impacts of 1.5°C global warming - Simulation protocol of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP2b)
Frieler, Katja ; Lange, Stefan ; Piontek, Franziska ; Reyer, Christopher P.O. ; Schewe, Jacob ; Warszawski, Lila ; Zhao, Fang ; Chini, Louise ; Denvil, Sebastien ; Emanuel, Kerry ; Geiger, Tobias ; Halladay, Kate ; Hurtt, George ; Mengel, Matthias ; Murakami, Daisgbre ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Popp, Alexander ; Riva, Riccardo ; Stevanovic, Miodrag ; SuzGBRi, Tatsuo ; Volkholz, Jan ; Burke, Eleanor ; Ciais, Philippe ; Ebi, Kristie ; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Elliott, Joshua ; Galbraith, Eric ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Hattermann, Fred ; Hickler, Thomas ; Hinkel, Jochen ; Hof, Christian ; Huber, Veronika ; Jägermeyr, Jonas ; Krysanova, Valentina ; Marcé, Rafael ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Mouratiadou, Ioanna ; Pierson, Don ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Vautard, Robert ; Vliet, Michelle Van; Biber, Matthias F. ; Betts, Richard A. ; Leon Bodirsky, Benjamin ; Deryng, Delphine ; Frolking, Steve ; Jones, Chris D. ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Lotze-Campen, Hermann ; Sahajpal, Ritvik ; Thonicke, Kirsten ; Tian, Hanqin ; Yamagata, Yoshiki - \ 2017
Geoscientific Model Development 10 (2017)12. - ISSN 1991-959X - p. 4321 - 4345.
In Paris, France, December 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ĝ€°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. In Nairobi, Kenya, April 2016, the IPCC panel accepted the invitation. Here we describe the response devised within the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) to provide tailored, cross-sectorally consistent impact projections to broaden the scientific basis for the report. The simulation protocol is designed to allow for (1) separation of the impacts of historical warming starting from pre-industrial conditions from impacts of other drivers such as historical land-use changes (based on pre-industrial and historical impact model simulations); (2) quantification of the impacts of additional warming up to 1.5ĝ€°C, including a potential overshoot and long-term impacts up to 2299, and comparison to higher levels of global mean temperature change (based on the low-emissions Representative Concentration Pathway RCP2.6 and a no-mitigation pathway RCP6.0) with socio-economic conditions fixed at 2005 levels; and (3) assessment of the climate effects based on the same climate scenarios while accounting for simultaneous changes in socio-economic conditions following the middle-of-the-road Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP2, Fricko et al., 2016) and in particular differential bioenergy requirements associated with the transformation of the energy system to comply with RCP2.6 compared to RCP6.0. With the aim of providing the scientific basis for an aggregation of impacts across sectors and analysis of cross-sectoral interactions that may dampen or amplify sectoral impacts, the protocol is designed to facilitate consistent impact projections from a range of impact models across different sectors (global and regional hydrology, lakes, global crops, global vegetation, regional forests, global and regional marine ecosystems and fisheries, global and regional coastal infrastructure, energy supply and demand, temperature-related mortality, and global terrestrial biodiversity).
The critical role of the routing scheme in simulating peak river discharge in global hydrological models
Zhao, Fang ; Veldkamp, Ted I.E. ; Frieler, Katja ; Schewe, Jacob ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Willner, Sven ; Schauberger, Bernhard ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Schmied, Hannes Müller ; Portmann, Felix T. ; Leng, Guoyong ; Huang, Maoyi ; Liu, Xingcai ; Tang, Qiuhong ; Hanasaki, Naota ; Biemans, Hester ; Gerten, Dieter ; Satoh, Yusuke ; Pokhrel, Yadu ; Stacke, Tobias ; Ciais, Philippe ; Chang, Jinfeng ; Ducharne, Agnes ; Guimberteau, Matthieu ; Wada, Yoshihide ; Kim, Hyungjun ; Yamazaki, Dai - \ 2017
Environmental Research Letters 12 (2017)7. - ISSN 1748-9318
daily runoff - flood - global hydrological models - GRDC - ISIMIP - peak river discharge - river routing
Global hydrological models (GHMs) have been applied to assess global flood hazards, but their capacity to capture the timing and amplitude of peak river discharge - which is crucial in flood simulations - has traditionally not been the focus of examination. Here we evaluate to what degree the choice of river routing scheme affects simulations of peak discharge and may help to provide better agreement with observations. To this end we use runoff and discharge simulations of nine GHMs forced by observational climate data (1971-2010) within the ISIMIP2a project. The runoff simulations were used as input for the global river routing model CaMa-Flood. The simulated daily discharge was compared to the discharge generated by each GHM using its native river routing scheme. For each GHM both versions of simulated discharge were compared to monthly and daily discharge observations from 1701 GRDC stations as a benchmark. CaMa-Flood routing shows a general reduction of peak river discharge and a delay of about two to three weeks in its occurrence, likely induced by the buffering capacity of floodplain reservoirs. For a majority of river basins, discharge produced by CaMa-Flood resulted in a better agreement with observations. In particular, maximum daily discharge was adjusted, with a multi-model averaged reduction in bias over about 2/3 of the analysed basin area. The increase in agreement was obtained in both managed and near-natural basins. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of routing scheme choice in peak discharge simulation, where CaMa-Flood routing accounts for floodplain storage and backwater effects that are not represented in most GHMs. Our study provides important hints that an explicit parameterisation of these processes may be essential in future impact studies.
Science and policy characteristics of the Paris Agreement temperature goal
Schleussner, Carl Friedrich ; Rogelj, Joeri ; Schaeffer, Michiel ; Lissner, Tabea ; Licker, Rachel ; Fischer, Erich M. ; Knutti, Reto ; Levermann, Anders ; Frieler, Katja ; Hare, William - \ 2016
Nature Climate Change 6 (2016)9. - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 827 - 835.

The Paris Agreement sets a long-term temperature goal of holding the global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C, and pursuing efforts to limit this to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Here, we present an overview of science and policy aspects related to this goal and analyse the implications for mitigation pathways. We show examples of discernible differences in impacts between 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming. At the same time, most available low emission scenarios at least temporarily exceed the 1.5 °C limit before 2100. The legacy of temperature overshoots and the feasibility of limiting warming to 1.5 °C, or below, thus become central elements of a post-Paris science agenda. The near-term mitigation targets set by countries for the 2020-2030 period are insufficient to secure the achievement of the temperature goal. An increase in mitigation ambition for this period will determine the Agreement's effectiveness in achieving its temperature goal.

Differential climate impacts for policy-relevant limits to global warming : The case of 1.5 °c and 2 °c
Schleussner, Carl Friedrich ; Lissner, Tabea K. ; Fischer, Erich M. ; Wohland, Jan ; Perrette, Mahé ; Golly, Antonius ; Rogelj, Joeri ; Childers, Katelin ; Schewe, Jacob ; Frieler, Katja ; Mengel, Matthias ; Hare, William ; Schaeffer, Michiel - \ 2016
Earth System dynamics 7 (2016)2. - ISSN 2190-4979 - p. 327 - 351.

Robust appraisals of climate impacts at different levels of global-mean temperature increase are vital to guide assessments of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The 2015 Paris Agreement includes a two-headed temperature goal: "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C". Despite the prominence of these two temperature limits, a comprehensive overview of the differences in climate impacts at these levels is still missing. Here we provide an assessment of key impacts of climate change at warming levels of 1.5 °C and 2 °C, including extreme weather events, water availability, agricultural yields, sea-level rise and risk of coral reef loss. Our results reveal substantial differences in impacts between a 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming that are highly relevant for the assessment of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. For heat-related extremes, the additional 0.5 °C increase in global-mean temperature marks the difference between events at the upper limit of present-day natural variability and a new climate regime, particularly in tropical regions. Similarly, this warming difference is likely to be decisive for the future of tropical coral reefs. In a scenario with an end-of-century warming of 2 °C, virtually all tropical coral reefs are projected to be at risk of severe degradation due to temperature-induced bleaching from 2050 onwards. This fraction is reduced to about 90 % in 2050 and projected to decline to 70 % by 2100 for a 1.5 °C scenario. Analyses of precipitation-related impacts reveal distinct regional differences and hot-spots of change emerge. Regional reduction in median water availability for the Mediterranean is found to nearly double from 9 % to 17 % between 1.5 °C and 2 °C, and the projected lengthening of regional dry spells increases from 7 to 11 %. Projections for agricultural yields differ between crop types as well as world regions. While some (in particular high-latitude) regions may benefit, tropical regions like West Africa, South-East Asia, as well as Central and northern South America are projected to face substantial local yield reductions, particularly for wheat and maize. Best estimate sea-level rise projections based on two illustrative scenarios indicate a 50 cm rise by 2100 relative to year 2000-levels for a 2 °C scenario, and about 10 cm lower levels for a 1.5 °C scenario. In a 1.5 °C scenario, the rate of sea-level rise in 2100 would be reduced by about 30 % compared to a 2 °C scenario. Our findings highlight the importance of regional differentiation to assess both future climate risks and different vulnerabilities to incremental increases in global-mean temperature. The article provides a consistent and comprehensive assessment of existing projections and a good basis for future work on refining our understanding of the difference between impacts at 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming.

A framework for the cross-sectoral integration of multi-model impact projections: land use decisions under climate impacts uncertainties
Frieler, K. ; Müller, C. ; Elliott, J. ; Neumann, K. - \ 2015
Earth System dynamics 6 (2015). - ISSN 2190-4979 - p. 447 - 460.
Climate change and its impacts already pose considerable challenges for societies that will further increase with global warming (IPCC, 2014a, b). Uncertainties of the climatic response to greenhouse gas emissions include the potential passing of large-scale tipping points (e.g. Lenton et al., 2008; Levermann et al., 2012; Schellnhuber, 2010) and changes in extreme meteorological events (Field et al., 2012) with complex impacts on societies (Hallegatte et al., 2013). Thus climate change mitigation is considered a necessary societal response for avoiding uncontrollable impacts (Conference of the Parties, 2010). On the other hand, large-scale climate change mitigation itself implies fundamental changes in, for example, the global energy system. The associated challenges come on top of others that derive from equally important ethical imperatives like the fulfilment of increasing food demand that may draw on the same resources. For example, ensuring food security for a growing population may require an expansion of cropland, thereby reducing natural carbon sinks or the area available for bio-energy production. So far, available studies addressing this problem have relied on individual impact models, ignoring uncertainty in crop model and biome model projections. Here, we propose a probabilistic decision framework that allows for an evaluation of agricultural management and mitigation options in a multi-impact-model setting. Based on simulations generated within the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), we outline how cross-sectorally consistent multi-model impact simulations could be used to generate the information required for robust decision making. Using an illustrative future land use pattern, we discuss the trade-off between potential gains in crop production and associated losses in natural carbon sinks in the new multiple crop- and biome-model setting. In addition, crop and water model simulations are combined to explore irrigation increases as one possible measure of agricultural intensification that could limit the expansion of cropland required in response to climate change and growing food demand. This example shows that current impact model uncertainties pose an important challenge to long-term mitigation planning and must not be ignored in long-term strategic decision making.
The elephant, the blind, and the intersectoral intercomparison of climate impacts
Schellnhuber, H.J. ; Frieler, K. ; Kabat, P. - \ 2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (2014)9. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 3225 - 3227.
global vegetation models - mitigation
Constraints and potentials of future irrigation water availability on agricultural production under climate change
Elliott, J. ; Deryng, D. ; Muller, C. ; Frieler, K. ; Konzmann, M. ; Gerten, D. ; Glotter, M. ; Florke, M.F. ; Wada, Y. ; Ludwig, F. - \ 2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (2014)9. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 3239 - 3244.
model description - requirements - food - scarcity - impacts - part
We compare ensembles of water supply and demand projections from 10 global hydrological models and six global gridded crop models. These are produced as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project, with coordination from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, and driven by outputs of general circulation models run under representative concentration pathway 8.5 as part of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Models project that direct climate impacts to maize, soybean, wheat, and rice involve losses of 400–1,400 Pcal (8–24% of present-day total) when CO2 fertilization effects are accounted for or 1,400–2,600 Pcal (24–43%) otherwise. Freshwater limitations in some irrigated regions (western United States; China; and West, South, and Central Asia) could necessitate the reversion of 20–60 Mha of cropland from irrigated to rainfed management by end-of-century, and a further loss of 600–2,900 Pcal of food production. In other regions (northern/eastern United States, parts of South America, much of Europe, and South East Asia) surplus water supply could in principle support a net increase in irrigation, although substantial investments in irrigation infrastructure would be required.
Turn down the heat : Why a 4°c warmer world must be avoided
Schellnhuber, H.J. ; Hare, W. ; Serdeczny, O. ; Adams, S. ; Coumou, D. ; Frieler, K. ; Martin, M. ; Otto, I.M. ; Perrette, M. ; Robinson, A. ; Rocha, M. ; Schaeffer, M. ; Schewe, J. ; Wang, X. ; Warszawski, L. - \ 2012
Washington DC : World Bank - 106
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