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DESCRIPTION OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIOS

Mean annual temperatures in Finland have risen slightly during the past century, but will this warming accelerate in the future as atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases increase? During the Finnish Research Programme SILMU some projections were made for the 21st century, but are these still valid? How may other weather variables such as precipitation and cloudiness change? Will there be more extreme weather than at present?

Summary table

Summary information about the model used to derive the ozone concentration scenarios
Underlying global drivers SRES storylines
Time horizon 21st century
Baseline 1961-1990
Methods Analysing the results of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models(AOGCMs)
Models used 13 AOGCM runs provided by the IPCC Data Distribution Centre
Scenario area Finland (analysis area: Finland, model area: global)
Main input data SRES-based radiative forcing
Output variables Annual and seasonal temperature and precipitation
Output resolution Depending on the model, varying between 170 × 250 km and 260 × 350 km

Details

The construction of the FINSKEN climate change scenarios is based on climate models. This has the advantage of achieving scenarios that are physically realistic, objective and directly related to specific time-dependent evelotions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and aerosol particle concentrations.

Atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) produce projected time-dependent global distributions of climate variables. These comprehensive three-dimensional global models describe interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere (snow and ice) and the land surface, but are characterised by relatively coarse horizontal resolution and modestly described land-sea distribution and topography.

13 experiments from six different state-of-the-art AOGCMs were utilised for an analysis of seasonal and annual mean surface air temperature and precipitation over Finland. The concentrations of GHGs and aerosols used in the experiments were retrieved from historical data up to 1989. From 1990 onward, the concentrations are based on the IPCC SRES emissions scenarios (Nakicenovic & Swart 2000). The model data were provided by the IPCC's Data Distribution Centre (Parry 2002); a list of the models with a description of the grid box size over Finland is shown in the following table:
Model Grid box size at 65°N No. of grid boxes for Finland
ECHAM4/OPYC3 130 × 310 km2 8
HADCM3 180 × 280 km2 8
CSIRO-Mk2 260 × 350 km2  5
NCAR-PCM 130 × 310 km2  9
GFDL-R30 170 × 250 km2  9
CGCM2 180 × 410 km2  6

The FINSKEN climate change scenarios are calculated as area-averages over the land grid boxes representing Finland. They indicate projected mean seasonal and annual changes relative to the modelled 1961-1990 baseline period.

Literature cited

  • Nakicenovic N. & Swart R. (eds.) 2000. Emission Scenarios. Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, UK.
  • Parry M. L. 2002: Scenarios for climate impacts and adaptation assessment. Global Environmental Change 12: 149-153.

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Updated 26.02.2004, Stefan Fronzek
Research Programme for Global Change (GTO) | Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

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