The Development of Climate Projections for Use in Chesapeake Bay Program Assessments
Workshop participants identified a set of 7 major recommendations related to the selection, use, and application of climate projections and forecasts for climate analysis in Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) assessments. Overall, the report notes that sufficient scientific understanding exists to provide insights into the decisions faced by the CBP over the short and long term. Workshop consensus was that all aspects of climate change, and their impacts on living resources, should be addressed in the 2017 Midpoint Assesment. While participants recognized constraints that require the CBP to focus on the year 2025 for short range climate assessments, they encourage the CBP to examine another period of future scenarios centered on 2050 for long term analyses.
The recommendations can be summarized broadly below:
- For the 2017 Midpoint Assessment, use historical (~100 years) trends to project precipitation to 2025.
- The Partnership should carefully consider the representation of evapotranspiration in Watershed Model calibration and scenarios, due to its strong influence on future water balance change.
- A 2050 timeframe is more appropriate for selecting and incorporating a suite of global climate scenarios and simulations to provide long-term projections for the management community, and an ongoing adaptive process to incorporate climate change into decision-making.
- For any 2050 assessment, use an ensemble or multiple global climate model approach, selecting model outputs that bound the range of key climate variables for the Chesapeake Bay region. Additionally, use multiple scenarios covering a range of projected emissions.
- Beyond the 2017 Midpoint Assessment, it is recommended that the CBP use 2050 projections for best management practice (BMP) design, implementation and performance, given that many BMPs implemented now could be in use beyond 2050.
The full report can be found on the STAC publications database.