Integrated Assessment of Adaptation Strategies
The ToPDAd methodology is an integrated approach to determine best strategies for businesses and regional governments to adapt to the expected medium term and long term changes in climate. The methodology consists of a phased approach integrating sectoral modelling and broader macro-economic assessments with principles from participative and robust decision making. ToPDAd proposes a stack of models and tools that has been used in the project to assess seven examples of regional adaptation problems in the energy, transport and tourism sectors. The tool set can be extended with a broader range of models and to different sectors and regions.
ToPDAd Methodology Steps
The ToPDAd methodology adheres to the following steps:
step 1 - Scenarios
ToPDAd works with scenarios combining the representative concentration pathways (RCP) RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, combined with shared socio-economic pathways (SSP) and the EU roadmaps for Energy and Transport.
Three different RCPs representing three global warming scenarios, are taken into account:
The climate change effects of RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 are quite similar up to 2050, while RCP8.5 shows already stronger effects by that time.
The climate projections for monthly temperature and precipitation, based on RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 respectively, have been generated by the ClimGen pattern scaling software of UEA. For specific needs of some case studies (see methodology Step 2 below and Project Results page) additional tailored climate projections (at higher spatial resolutions) were generated for wind speed, cloud cover, precipitation (snowfall), drought and heating and cooling degree days. The results were absorbed into a GIS system employing a 25 x 25 km grid covering whole Europe, allowing joint use with SSP based gridded socioeconomic data.
The climate change scenarios (RCPs) are each combined with a socio-economic scenario, so-called shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs). RCP2.6 is matched with SSP1, RCP4.5 with SSP4 and RCP8.5 with SSP5.
Within each scenario, economic and population growth are differentiated by region. The mitigation and adapation challenges are different for each scenario. Higher economic growth, such as in SSP5, increases the mitigation challenge, whereas moderate and unequal economic growth, as in SSP4 and SSP3, raises the relative burden of adaptation efforts.
The risk themes that have been selected for the case studies are representative for the chosen scenarios.
step 2 - System and sector impacts
Sector level impacts are identified using dedicated models and tools for the energy, transport and tourism sectors. Existing models were adapted to fit the ToPDAd case studies.
step 3 - Macro-level and integrated assessment
The macro-level and integrated assessment adds information about the broader decision- context. The integrated assessment focuses on economics, but also studies implications for health and environment.
ToPDAd uses two macro-economic models, one covering a medium to long-term period from the present up till 2050 (GINFORS), and a second one covering a longer period, from now up til 2090 (GRACE). The first model provides insight in the economic potential of different de-carbonising strategies, whereas the second one analyses the effects of different adaptation strategies while being confronted with climate change impacts.
GINFORS analyses in detail the economic impact of the transformation to a low-carbon society in the next coming decades. In this period, the effects of climate change still remain weak, even under the strongest climate scenarios. The model includes environmental stressors and information on the sector-specific low-carbon technologies.
The effects of climate change and the need for adaptation will mostly be felt in the second half of the 21st century. This period is covered by the GRACE model, which also includes information on the impacts of climate change, but is less detailed in the description of economies.
Together, the two models address this century's main challenges: how to combine adaptation and transformation towards a low-carbon economy in the coming decades, and adaptation to climate change in the second half of this century.
step 4 - Value judgements and decisions
Decision makers are faced with trade-offs within and between sectors, and between various stakeholders at the regional level. To facilitate this process, ToPDAd has included an integrated method for participatory valuation and decision making.
step 5 - Interactive exploration, analysis and learning
ToPDAd has developed a Data Exploration Tool, which visualises and allows exploration of the results and data that have been obtained using the ToPDAd integrated approach for a variety of sectors and regions.
The Data Exploration tool can be used to explore the outcome of the different case studies and assess the impacts of different adpatation strategies over different scenarios, time periods and European regions.