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Apr 6th 2022

Downscaled climate research and sustainable transition knowledge creation : international perspective

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Mar 31st 2022

Ouranos’s relevance confirmed with Government of Quebec investment of nearly $20M

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Mar 14th 2022

What are the key takeaways of the IPCC report on climate change impacts and adaptation?

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Storylines from Regional Simulation

Use of Storylines from Regional Simulation for Climate Hazards and Stakeholder Engagement

The North American CORDEX Program in partnership with Ouranos, National Center for Atmosphere Research, Iowa State University and Cornell University invites you to join this 3-day VIRTUAL workshop on April 25-27, 2022 | 11 am to 2 pm (ET). The goal of this workshop is to develop a clear synthesis of the current status of storyline research, provide tangible examples of the use of storylines and to illustrate the symbioses with alternative methods of producing applications-relevant climate projections.


Each day will begin with presentations on key workshop themes on prior work that has been done on storylines to set the stage for this new workshop. This will be followed by shorter presentations by contributed speakers. Break-out groups will be actioned wherein open discussion will be made by participants, followed by a dialogue focused around development of best-practice in key arenas.

This workshop is designed primarily to enable dialogue, and will therefore take the format of short ‘flash-talks’ (5-10 minutes duration) to illustrate ongoing research and discussions.  If you are interested in doing a short presentation, please submit a brief title and short description of your proposed flash talk using the form before March 28, 2022.

Submit a Flash-Talk


11:00 AM | Welcome and workshop overview

11:10 AM | Presentation - Invited speaker:
 TITLE : Storylines – history and recent innovation
>> Jana Sillmann - University of Hamburg
Storylines have long been used in the climate science community in the context of scenarios (future pathways of emissions or socio-economic developments). More recently the term storyline has also been used to describe plausible trajectories of weather and climate conditions or events that are often associated with high societal impacts (either observed or anticipated). New methodologies in regional climate modeling have been developed to support physical storyline approaches for constructing and communicating more impact- and risk-relevant climate information tailored to regions and stakeholders. Physical storyline approaches are usually built on multiple lines of evidence for exploring uncertainties related to natural climate variability, and for embedding climate information into a given user context complementing probabilistic approaches. Physical climate storylines have further shown as useful in the context of physically plausible, but low-likelihood, high-impact outcomes. This presentation gives an overview of physical storyline approaches as assessed in the IPCC AR6.

11:50 AM | Participant Flash-Talks
- Antonio Sánchez Benítez and Alfred Wegener, Institute Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research : Storylines of July 2019 European heat wave using a coupled model
- Jose Antonio Salinas, IMTA : Dynamical downscaling experiments and hydrological modelling for Canada and Mexico
- Jacob Coburn, Cornell University : Identifying compound freezing rain-high wind gust events: linking the geophysical hazard to societal impacts
- Alina Mastai, ETH Zurich: Storylines of future climate extremes in Switzerland
- Dominic Matte, Ouranos: The role of global warming on a cloudburst event depicted with a convective permitting ensemble forecast model

12:40 PM | Break

12:55 PM | Pressing Q&A + move to breakout rooms (+introduce breakout discussion questions)

13:00 PM | Breakout discussions

13:30 PM | Report out + full group discussion

14:00 PM | En of the day

11:00 AM | Welcome and today's topic

11:05 AM | Presentation - 4 Invited speakers:
TITLE : Event-based storylines of future drought conditions in Québec
>> Louis-Philippe Caron, Ouranos
Water is abundant in Quebec, but its availability can occasionally become a local issue during periods of low water. With climate change, river flows are projected to decrease during the summer and fall seasons, with longer and more severe low flows compared to the current period. This situation will require adapting water management to ensure sharing between the different usages. As such, Ouranos recently launched a call for proposals to provide a general picture of the consequences linked to episodes of severe lack of water in Quebec in the context of a changing climate. To support this project, Ouranos developed different event-based storylines of future drought conditions, where past real-world extreme dry conditions are transposed into a warmer future through the use of a large ensemble from HYDROTEL hydrological model and 50 simulations of the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM). Analog years reminiscent of recent impactful drought years in southern Quebec are first identified in the present climate of this ensemble and then transposed into similar future conditions for three futures using a series of climate indicators.
This is Ouranos’ first attempt at using storylines to engage stakeholders. We expect/hope that the reliance on recent and familiar events will help generate more interest than the traditional approaches and help with user engagement.

TITLE : Storylines in the EUCP project
>> Christopher Goddard & Fai Fung - UK Met Office
The European Climate Prediction system (EUCP) project aimed to lay the foundation for a future regional climate prediction system for Europe. An important element of this is the role of narrative, or storylines approaches in data production and scientific investigation, as well as a key user product. The storylines task in EUCP sought to investigate this via three questions:
• What are climate storylines and where are they useful?
• How could storylines bring together various outputs and products of EUCP science?
• What are the challenges of producing them as a service?
We will summarise the body of EUCP work performed to address these questions and highlight the potential advantages and challenges in developing storylines as part of a climate service. These studies included two examples of co-producing storylines as a user product, revealing the potential usefulness for user applications. Novel scientific studies were also performed which could form the scientific building blocks of climate storylines, as well as a tool for performing multiple lines of evidence assessments that could aid storylines development

TITLE : Hurricane storylines for understanding climate impacts of extreme rainfall
>> Kevin Reed- Sony Brook University
The production of actionable climate science relies on effective communication of regional climate information and its associated uncertainties across sectors. Comprehensive assessment of both dynamical and statistical climate models adds substantial value to their outputs, particularly when the evaluation criteria are the product of a two-way dialogue between scientists and end-users. In this work, we provide an example of such efforts using hurricane storylines. In particular, 7-day ensemble atmospheric model simulations are initialized in advance of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in 2017 to explore characteristics of the storm’s hazards. Additional simulations under future warming levels are completed to estimate the impact of global climate change on Hurricane Irma’s hazards, particularly rainfall extremes. This storyline approach is further explored within the context of traditional climate model simulations that investigate long-term trends in extreme precipitation. The work demonstrates the usefulness of storyline approaches, informed by interactions with water resource managers, to communicate climate risk at regional scales.

TITLE : Storylines, standards of evidence, and legal contexts
>>Lisa Lloyd - Indiana University
In a recent very influential federal court case, Juliana v. United States, climate scientist Kevin Trenberth used a ‘storyline’ approach to extreme event attribution to argue that greenhouse warming had affected and will affect extreme events in the Plaintiffs’ regions to such an extent that they already had been or will be harmed. The storyline approach to attribution assesses the role of climate change to extreme events conditional on certain contingent climate factors. The US Government’s opposing expert witness argued that Trenberth had failed to make his case because “all his conclusions of the injuries to Plaintiffs suffer from the same failure to connect his conditional approach to Plaintiffs’ local circumstances.” This critique was a logical one, concerning whether it is possible to make statements about individual events based on general knowledge. We argue that proceeding from the general to the specific, as storylines frequently do, is a process of deduction and is an entirely legitimate form of scientific reasoning. We further argue that it is well aligned with the concept of legal evidence, much more so than the more usual inductive form of scientific reasoning, which proceeds from the specific to the general.

12:25 PM | Break

12:40 PM | Participant Flash-Talks
- Zeyu Xue, University of California, Davis : A retrospective and prospective examination of the 1960s U.S. Northeast Drought
- Erin Coughlan de Perez, Hamsa Ganapathi, Innocent Masukwedza, and Timo Kelder, Tufts University / Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre : Storylines of Wheat Crop Failure Using UNSEEN Ensemble
- Michael Grose, CSIRO : Applying ‘storyline’ thinking to the CMIP6 CORDEX Australasian ensemble
- Minhong Zhang, Bedford institution of Oceanography : Impacts of Arctic climate change on synoptic cyclones and the Beaufort High
- Julia Mindlin, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) : Using storylines to reconcile CMIP5 and CMIP6 model projections
- Priscilla Mooney, Norce : Storylines in the PolarRES project

13:30 PM | Full group discussion

14:00 PM | End of the day

11:00 AM | Welcome and today's topic

11:10 AM | Presentation - Invited Speaker
TITLE : Inverting the construction of climate information for local-to-regional climate risk with storylines
>> Regina Rodrigues, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) 
There is a widely accepted gap between the production and use of climate information due to the challenge of bridging what may be characterised as ‘top-down’ approaches to climate information on the global scale and local decision contexts that take a ‘bottom-up’ perspective. To help bridge this gap, I will discuss representing relevant knowledge about climate adaptation and local climate risk in a conditional manner using the ‘storyline’ approach to regional climate information, as a complement to complex analyses of projections from climate models, which provide the broader context. In addition, the use of more straightforward methodologies that build trust and transparency, such as storylines, facilitates the co-production and co-ownership with the end-users of the climate information.

11:50 AM | Participant Flash-Talks
- Xin Zhou, Rebecca Barthelmie, Melissa Bukovsky, Fred Letson, and Sara C. Pryor, Cornell U. : Representation of Winter Windstorm Storylines in WRF model
- Fred Letson, Cornell U.: How do Windstorms Derived from Transient WRF-MPI Simulations Compare with Historical Storms?
- Anna M. Jalowska, Tanya L. Spero , Jared H. Bowden U.S., EPA Office of Research and Development and North Carolina State University: Plausible Future Changes in Eastern North Carolina Extreme Rainfall Projected in Dynamically Downscaled CESM and CM3 Models (2025-2100) Using WRF
- Geneva Gray, North Carolina State University: Storylines of Future Extreme Precipitation in Baltimore, MD
12:30 PM | Break

12:45 PM | Introduction to discussions

12:50 PM | Breakout discussions

13:25 PM | Report out, further discussion and conclusion

13:50 PM | Wrap out

14:00 PM | End of the workshop


Melissa Bukovsky, CORDEX SAT, NCAR
Bill Gutowski, North American CORDEX POC, Iowa State University
Linda Mearns, North American CORDEX POC, NCAR
Dominique Paquin, North American CORDEX POC, Ouranos
Sara C. Pryor, WCRP Regional Information for Society ICG co-chair and North American CORDEX POC, Cornell University

Melissa Bukovsky, NCAR
Bill Gutowski, Iowa State University
Linda Mearns, NCAR
Sara C. Pryor, Cornell University
Dominique Paquin, Ouranos
Catherine Schick, Ouranos
Anne Debrabandere, Ouranos


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