This project will increase our understanding of key Arctic processes, improve our ability to simulate such processes and their interaction with the rest of the global and northern climate system and provide improved scenarios of future climate conditions over high northern latitude ocean and land areas. These scenarios will be used in climate change impact studies with a focus on northern Sweden, including stakeholder interaction. The wider impact and adaptation community will be integrated via existing projects and networks.

For this purpose, we propose to further develop and use the latest and most advanced versions of the global climate model EC-Earth, the regional Arctic coupled model RCAO including an interactive land-vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS) in order to investigate feedbacks of land-vegetation, ecosystem biogeochemistry, permafrost and methane release. These models will then be used to deliver high-resolution regional climate scenarios over the Arctic ocean and land areas. A further downscaling to a local scale will be carried out with statistical methods to accommodate local impact and adaptation studies.

The main objective is:

  • to establish a chain of knowledge from global climate change via Arctic processes to northern latitude impacts and providing a range of detailed scenarios for Arctic and northern regions

Specifically the project aims:

  • to better understand and simulate Arctic climate change and its links with the Global Climate System (theme 1, “Global-to-Arctic”)

          - processes involved in the “Arctic amplification”
          - atmospheric and oceanic heat, moisture and
            mass advection into the Arctic

  • to better understand and simulate Arctic climate processes (theme 2, “Arctic processes”)

          - effects of Atlantic inflow into the Arctic, including the role of
            mixing, circulation within the Arctic Ocean and interaction with 
            sea ice
          - the role of freshwater input on Arctic ocean circulation and 
            sea-ice processes
          - improved representation of sea-ice variability
          - the role of Arctic clouds and their impact on the surface energy 

  • to better assess the mechanisms relating Arctic Ocean climate change to regional climate conditions over land (theme 3 “Arctic-ocean-to-land”)

          - impact of ocean-to-atmosphere heat transfer, atmospheric 
            circulation, cloudiness, radiation on precipitation, soil conditions
            and river runoff

  • to provide detailed regional climate scenarios in support of impact studies and stakeholder support systems over both the Arctic region and northern latitude land areas (theme 4 “Arctic scenarios”)

          - from global climate change scenarios via dynamical downscaling 
            to statistical downscaling for local scales of direct use for

  • to provide an assessment of the impacts of climate change including stakeholder use (theme 5 “Impact, adaptation and outreach”)

          - on vegetation systems, permafrost stability and methane release
             in Arctic land areas including feedbacks
          - on mountain permaforst, tourism and reindeer herding in northern
          - interactive dialogue between stakeholders and modelers

This is an interdisciplinary project linking physical climate modeling with impact and stakeholder research. Interdisciplinary synthesis is the real challenge, rather than creating disciplinary know-how. First segments of a user infrastructure exists, but major parts remain to be build. A synthesis is strongly facilitated by project integration, which is handled by actively elucidating information that is transferred within the project as well as between the project and external stakeholders.