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Area 7: Assess and Characterize Uncertainties

For description of this technical area and for the context on how this area fits into the outline of technical areas for incorporating climate change information into water resources assessments, please see our Long-term climate change research activities.

. These areas were featured in discussion of desired versus current capabilities in Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management:  User Needs for Improving Tools and Information (pdf 8MB). The result from that discussion are a listing of research needs, or "gaps", under eight technical areas. After compiling this list, a process followed where relative research priorities were assigned to each gap (low, medium and high). The second and third columns of the table indicates priority ratings reflecting pooled views from Reclamation and USACE only, and pooled views from all document reviewers, respectively. The fourth column lists the research activities being supported by Reclamation's Research and Development Office associated with these gaps.

Technical Planning Steps and Associated Gaps in Tools and Information

Priority Ranking1

Activities

Reclamation/
USACE

All
Respondents

7.01 Uncertainty information on global climate projections data, including uncertainties about climate system science, portrayal in climate models, emissions scenario development, and simulation methods.

High

High

 

7.02 Uncertainty information on regional climate projections data, including uncertainties from choice of bias-correction and spatial downscaling methods.

High

High

2011
Directed: Post-doctoral Resarch Support (Project 2. Assessing Differences between BCSD CMIP3, NARCCAP, and Statistical Downscaling Approaches and their Significance in Water Resources Planning Support)

2011
675 Understanding How Different Versions of Distributed Historical Weather Data Affect Hydrologic Model Calibration and Climate Projections Downscaling

7.03 Uncertainty in planning results stemming from method choices on how to use transient characteristics of climate projections in planning scenarios.

Medium

Medium

 

7.04 For each response analysis on a natural system, uncertainty information on system science and associated ways of portraying this science in a system model and the observations used to customize a model for a specific system.

Medium

High

2011 - present
Directed: Evaluating Power and Uncertainty Associated with Sample Size in Non-Parametric Approaches to Hydrologic Variables for Streamflow Forecasts and Simulations

7.05 For each response analysis on a socio-economic system, uncertainty information on system science and associated ways of portraying this science in a system model and the observations used to customize a model for a specific system.

High

Medium