About the project
The primary objective of the project is to provide climate projections in a form that is relevant for the municipalities and other stakeholders in the Hordaland Region in Western Norway.
Examples of parameters that is relevant for the end users include: duration, magnitude and frequency of high-intensity rainfall (for storm drain planning); the likelihood of night frost during spring and autumn and growing season length (for agriculture); the number of times the zero-degree threshold is crossed each winter (for road maintenance and landslides); changes to the frequency and severity of storms (for infrastructure and forest management; storm surge severity (for coastal regions); likelihood of droughts (for fire management); and wintertime snow accumulation in the mountains (for hydropower and flood management).
On the research side, the WRF regional climate model will be optimized for use in western Norway by evaluating model simulations against observed climatic events, such as the flood in October 2014 and the storm in January 2015, both of which were unusually destructive. But the major research aspect of the project is to find the best way to perform a suitable bias correction of CMIP5 global climate model data.
The geographical domain required to capture the local climate in Hordaland poses different challenges, namely: a) the topography in Norway and Greenland; b) the wintertime arctic sea ice extent, which is substantially overestimated by some models; and c) extrapolation of sea surface temperatures in the narrow fjords.
The end phase of the project consists of applying the bias corretion and to produce downscaled future projections for Hordaland, as well as to disseminate the results to the end users.