About the Workshop
A compelling issue that emerged from the IPCC AR4 in 2007 was the interest in "short term" climate
projections out to about 2030. This is a time frame of interest for many decision support activities and
impacts, but is not explicitly addressed with current models and experiments. Any short term climate
information currently provided is simply taken from relatively coarse grid global coupled climate
models in the early stages of 21st century simulations that began in the late 1800s and are run to 2100
and beyond. While this provides some information regarding the response of the climate system to
external forcing on near-term time scales, it has recently been recognized that a different type of
experiment using models with higher spatial resolution and possibly an observed initial state could
provide better regional climate change information for decision support and other applications over the
next few decades.
An AGCI session in the summer of 2006 first proposed an experimental design for the next round of
coordinated climate change experiments that explicitly included short-term climate predictions to be
performed for assessment by the international climate modeling community. Since then this has been
taken up by WCRP, IGBP and the IPCC, with CLIVAR targeting decadal prediction as the next big
research challenge for the climate modeling community.
The AGCI session in 2008 will take up where the 2006 session left off, and carry this concept to the
next level by tackling not only the formidable science issues involved with designing and running short
term climate projections (now more commonly referred to as "decadal prediction"). The session will
also address the important issues of the utility and applications of this information for decision support
and impacts research. We seek to invite U.S. and international experts from modeling groups currently
doing research in decadal prediction, as well as representatives from the decision support and impacts
communities who would use this information. Proposed output from this session would be a white
paper and possible journal article summarizing our current state of knowledge on decadal prediction,
the degree of success one could expect from such experiments, possible solutions to the scientific
challenges involved with this problem, and an assessment of how this type of climate change
information over could be used for decision support and impacts analyses the next few decades.
An article summarizing the discussions at the workshop was submitted to BAMS.