Climate Scenarios for the NASA/USAID SERVIR Project: Challenges for Multiple Planning Horizons
We report here on work to construct scenarios or outlooks that are being developed as input drivers for decision support systems (DSSs) in a variety of settings. These DSSs are being developed jointly by a broad array NASA Applied Science Team (AST) Investigations and user communities in the three SERVIR Hub Regions, Central America, East Africa and the Himalayas. Issues span hydrologic / water resources modeling, agricultural productivity, and forest carbon reserves. The scenarios needed for these efforts encompass seasonal forecasts, interannual outlooks, and likely decadal / multi-decadal trends. Providing these scenarios across the different AST efforts enables some level of integration in considering regional responses to climate events.
We will discuss a number of challenges in developing this continuum of scenarios including the identification and “mining” of predictability, addressing multiple continental regions, issues of downscaling global model integrations to regional / local applications (i.e. hydrologic and crop modeling). We compare / contrast the role of the U.S. Multi-Model Experiment initiative in seasonal forecasts and the CMIP-5 climate model experiments in supporting these efforts. Examples of these scenarios, their use, and an assessment of their utility as well as limitations will be presented.