Using ensemble climate scenarios in a biodiversity study

Within the framework of the Mistra-SWECIA research programme Rossby Centre scientists have been collaborating with scientists studying how biodiversity may be impacted as an effect of climate change. In a new study/paper an ensemble of regional climate scenario data was used as input to a population dynamics model.

Daily temperature and precipitation from an ensemble of regional climate scenarios was further downscaled and then aggregated to seasonal temperature and precipitation and tailored indices related to frost occurence. These data were used to drive a Bayesian population dynamics model of a rare bryophyte (moss) species, Buxbaumia viridis. The climate scenario ensemble represents different aspects of uncertainty; future emissions, GCM formulation, climate sensitivity, natural variability and RCM resolution.

Together with the Bayesian formulation of the population model, the study samples the whole model uncertainty chain GCM-RCM-impact model. In conclusion the paper suggests that uncertainties are no longer an obstacle, but a mandatory aspect to include in the viability analysis of populations. Rather, it can be seen as a way to assess the robustness of projected trends.

Link to paper

"Disentangling effects of uncertainties on population projections: climate change impact on an epixylic bryophyte"

For questions on climate modelling and ensemble scenario data aspects of the study contact Lars Bärring at the Rossby Centre.

For questions regarding the population model, ecological and conservational aspects of the study contact, Alejandro Ruete or Tord Snäll at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.