Climate in Svalbard 2100 – a knowledge base for climate adaptation

This report was commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency in order to provide basic information for climate change effect studies and climate change adaptation in Svalbard. It includes descriptions of historical, as well as projections for future climate development in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and ocean, and it includes effects on the physical nature, e.g. risks associated with landslides and avalanches. The projections for future climate are based on the global climate models used in the IPCCs fifth assessment report (IPCC, 2013). Dependent on availability of model data, three scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases are used: “RCP8.5” (“business as usual”; “high emissions”), “RCP4.5” (reductions after 2040; “medium emissions”) and “RCP2.6” (drastic cuts from 2020; “low emissions”). Climate change in the atmosphere and land surface are projected up to the year 2100 and in the ocean up to the year 2070.

The report is to a large degree an assessment of existing literature and model results, e.g. the Arctic CORDEX regional climate models. In addition, a fine scale atmospheric regional climate model (COSMO-CLM) has been run, and the results were applied for estimating changes in e.g. heavy rainfall, frost days, snow, permafrost and glaciers. Further, a hydrological model has been run for Svalbard for present and projected future climate, based on input data from Arctic CORDEX. Also for the ocean, new analyses have been performed, based on the best available model data. Below follows a summary based on a combination of the assessment and results from new analyses.

Hanssen-Bauer I., Førland E. J., Hisdal H., Mayer S., Sandø A. B. & Sorteberg A., 2019. Climate in Svalbard 2100 – a knowledge base for climate adaptation. The Norwegian Centre for Climate Services (NCCS). Report.

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