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How Should We Quantify Uncertainty in Climate Predictions?

Organised by the Royal Statistical Society, Royal Meteorological Society and British Hydrological Society

in association with the

Willis Research Network

Tuesday 24 June 2008

RSS, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

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It is widely acknowledged that climate change is one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. However, the future course of climate change is highly uncertain for a variety of reasons. These include the inherent variability of the climate system, uncertainty about how society will evolve in the face of climate change, incomplete knowledge of processes in the climate system, and differences between projections from different models of the climate system. There is currently substantial interest in determining how best to quantify uncertainty in climate predictions, both from a scientific viewpoint and for purposes of communicating to stakeholders and decision makers. The speakers at this meeting will outline a range of possible approaches, and there will be a forum for extended discussion.


11:00 Welcome
11:10 Roger Street (UK Climate Impacts Programme)
The need and value of communicating uncertainties: users' perspectives
11:40 Michael Goldstein & Peter Challenor (Durham & Southampton)
The Bayesian approach to long term climate prediction: general priciples
How we might put this into practice: the probability that the Atlantic circulation collapses
12:40 Lunch
13:40 Reto Knutti (Zurich)
Challenges in quantifying climate model bias, dependence and performance
14:40 Myles Allen (Oxford)
Estimating the relative likelihood of future climates: the end of climate modelling
15:40 David Spiegelhalter (Cambridge)
Contributed discussion
16:00 Hayley Fowler (Newcastle)
Contributed discussion
16:10 DisUse of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at E:\listplex\SYSTEM\SCRIPTS\filearea.cgi line 455, line 137. cussion
17:00 Close

Please contact Chris Ferro for further details.


Roger Street (UK Climate Impacts Programme) The need and value of communicating uncertainties: users' perspectives
Communicating the nature of climate scenarios and projections to users, including the associated uncertainties and what these mean for their use, is essential but at the same time represents a significant challenge. This presentation explores the nature and means of providing this type of information in the context of UKCIP08 (the next set of national climate information). It goes further considering issues associated with communicating uncertainties in the context of the probabilistic nature of the associated projections. Views and advice received are presented with the aim of soliciting further views from participants.

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Chris Ferro
Updated: 10 July 2008