Urban Climate Information to Support Decision Making: from Local to Global in Salon 12
14:45 - 16:15
To maintain or improve the quality of living in cities, urban planners need detailed information on future urban climates at a residential scale but most of the global climate models do not adequately account for the urban environment. In fact, cities affect the local weather by perturbing the wind, temperature, moisture, turbulence, and surface energy budgets. The foundation of urban-scale climate information is our current high-resolution urban downscaling expertise, combined with local-impact models, and ensemble dynamical and statistical downscaling. This combination enables the propagation of climate change and uncertainty from global to the city scale. The first part of this session will address critical knowledge gaps around downscaling to city-scales and how to assess and reduce uncertainties; this will be critical input to the forthcoming IPCC scientific assessments. Complementing this focus on models, the session will also look at observations. The Global Climate Observing System Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (GCOS-TOPC) is responsible for identifying and facilitating the monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that feed into IPCC/UNFCCC climate assessments. GCOS-TOPC is responsible for several critical ECVs including global surface albedo, land cover change and soil moisture, and as a matter of priority is currently considering one or more ECVs that represent evolving human adaptation to climate change in critical terrestrial realms, including cities. Through a facilitated panel and audience interaction, the second part of this session aims to make important progress on the identification of such ECVs and how they may be efficiently measured/monitored. Such variables representing urban adaptation might be physical (e.g. changed urban characteristics from satellite observation), or socio-economic (e.g. direct funding invested in adaptation response). Development of appropriate city-related ECVs will be a lasting legacy of this Cities IPCC Conference.