Levi Brekke co-authors article outlining Guidelines for Constructing Climate Scenarios in Eos

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: September 06, 2011

Water managers throughout the country are increasingly using outputs from climate models in research and to help support their long-term management decisions. In the Aug. 2nd issue of Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union four authors, including Reclamation's Water and Climate Research Coordinator Levi Brekke, published an article, Guidelines for Constructing Climate Scenarios.

"Providing water managers guidelines on how to use the various climate models is important to the Bureau of Reclamation," said Brekke. "They provide a foundation for water managers to make sound decisions using current climate models."

The proposed guidelines the authors discuss are:

  1. Understand to which aspects of climate your problem or decision is most sensitive.
  2. Determine which climate projection information is most appropriate for the problem or decision.
  3. Understand the limitations of the method you select.
  4. Obtain climate projections based on as many simulations, representing as many models and emissions scenarios, as possible.
  5. It may be worth the effort to evaluate the relevant variables against observations, just to be cognizant of model biases, but recognize that most studies have found little or no difference in culling or weighting model outputs.
  6. Understand that regional climate projection uncertainty stems from uncertainties about (1) the drivers of change, (2) the response of the climate system to those drivers and (3) the future trajectory of natural variability.
  7. Use the ensemble to characterize consensus not only about the projected mean but also about the range and other aspects of variability.

The article was co-authored by Philip Mote, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon State University; Levi Brekke, Bureau of Reclamation; Philip B. Duffy, Climate Central and Ed Maurer, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Santa Clara.

To read the article, please visit: http://occri.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/EOSScenarios.pdf.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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