Challenges to link climate change data provision and user needs - perspective from the COST-action VALUE

Roessler O, Fischer AM, Huebener H, Maraun D, Benestad RE, Christodoulides P, Soares PMM, Cardoso RM, Pagé C, Kanamaru H, Kreienkamp F, Vlachogiannis D
Int. J. Climatol. (2017),

Download PDF


The application of climate change impact assessment (CCIA) studies in general and especially the linkages between different actor groups typically involved is often not trivial and subject to many limitations and uncertainties. Disciplinary issues like competing downscaling approaches, imperfect climate and impact model data and uncertainty propagation as well as the selection of appropriate data sets are only one part of the story. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary challenges add to these, as climate data and impact model data provision and their usage require at least a minimum of common work and shared understanding among actors. Here, we provide the VALUE perspective on current disciplinary challenges and limitations at the downscaling interface and elaborate transdisciplinary issues that hamper a proper working downscaling interface. The perspective is partly based on a survey on user needs of downscaled data that was distributed among 62 participants across Europe involving 22 sectors. Partly, it is based on the exchanges and experiences gained during the lifetime of VALUE that brought together different actor groups of different disciplines: climate modellers, impact modellers, statisticians and stakeholders. We outline a sketch that summarizes the linkages between the main identified actor groups: climate model data providers, impact modellers and societal users. We summarize review and structure current actors groups, needs and issues. We argue that this structuring enables involved actors to tackle these issues in a more organized and hence effective way. A key solution to several difficulties at the downscaling interface is to our understanding the development of guidelines based on benchmark tests like the VALUE framework. In addition, fostering communication between actor groups - and financing this communication - is essential to obtain the best possible CCIA as a prerequisite for robust adaptation.