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Past Workshops

AGCI workshops provides a much-needed forum to bring together natural and social scientists – ecologists, oceanographers, atmospheric chemists, and climate experts along with political scientists, population dynamicists, anthropologists, sociologists, and educators – enabling them to work together at the cutting edge of a variety of topics of critical importance in the global change arena.

Displaying 1 - 8 of 52  records


Experimental design for CMIP6: Aerosol, land use, and future scenarios

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3 August - 8 August 2014
This session is designed to produce proposals from the three essential specialized model intercomparison projections (MIPs): MIPs on land use (LUMIP), tropospheric aerosols chemistry (AerChem MIP), and scenarios (Scenario MIP). These MIPs are essential to the process of producing integrated scenario analyses of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and impacts. These scenarios will be used by hundreds of researchers and practitioners for impact and integrated assessment analyses. Planning within each of these MIPs has already begun, and it is clear that to maximize success, these plans need to be coordinated across the three groups. The questions to explore regard the significance of changes brought about by regional forcings from both land use and air pollutants, the type of experiment that the two specific MIPs could run in order to aid Scenario MIP to identify a set of future scenarios to propose as part of CMIP6 experimental design. Another key aspect will be a consensus on the approach(es) for the documentation of radiative forcing for all aspects (land use, short-lived climate forces, and well-mixed greenhouse gases).  View double arrow

Pathways for Climate Solutions: Assessing Energy Technology and Policy Innovation

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24 February - 28 February 2014
Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC and the Aspen Global Change Institute will collaboratively host a workshop in early 2014 to build an updated assessment of which technologies offer the most promise to reduce carbon emissions. The workshop will cover three and a half days, and it will include a discussion of energy generation, efficiency, storage, and grid management technologies, and the role they can play in achieving a low-emissions future energy system. We will anchor the discussion by placing technologies on their development pathways, so we can also discuss which government policies can best make these technologies affordable and ubiquitous. The meeting will form the basis of a paper that discusses the major findings and lays out a concrete strategy for action.  View double arrow

Adaptation to climate change in mountain & coastal areas: a transatlantic dialogue

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13 August - 16 August 2013

As the impacts of climate change become more immediate, adaptation to these changes is becoming a greater area of interest and concern among resource managers, planners, and other stakeholders at all scales. However, in spite of advancements in the scientific understanding of climate change, much progress is needed in developing, translating, and disseminating usable knowledge to inform both individual and collective actions, especially at local levels of decision making. As part of this, increased emphasis has been placed on fostering sustained engagement between research communities and users of climate information. Additionally, the documentation of case studies as well as the development of networks that include researchers, practitioners, decision-makers and stakeholders has been identified as helpful mechanisms to support a growing number of communities developing climate change adaptation strategies.

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Next generation climate change experiments needed to advance knowledge and for assessment of CMIP6

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4 August - 9 August 2013
Scientists from around the world and program managers at the funding agencies have started to contemplate how to prepare for a possible next-generation model intercomparison in the CMIP series, CMIP6. The timing of this meeting afforded a unique opportunity to assess the accomplishments and outstanding issues with the CMIP5 process and use this to help inform the development of experimental design and research directions that can be considered for inclusion in the CMIP6 process. For an effective discussion participants from the following disciplines were included: climate modelers, carbon cycle/earth system modelers, integrated assessment modelers, social scientists, agency program managers.  View double arrow

Science for Climate Change Adaptation: Enhancing Decision-Support Capability

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5 August - 10 August 2012
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 relied heavily on the SRES scenarios that were run in global coupled climate models to produce climate change information on various timescales in the future. Formally, none of the SRES scenarios were mitigation scenarios (although one achieved GHG concentrations without explicit climate policies at a level that now seems ambitious). Research on responses was commonly segregated into two efforts: mitigation to prevent further contributions to climate change, and adaptation to prepare for and manage climate changes that are unavoidable. In the intervening years, there has been substantial evolution in the framing of the climate change issue.The societal challenge is now being framed as a combination of adaptation, to respond to changes to which the climate system is already committed over the next several decades, and mitigation, where efforts started now will have significant consequences for the magnitude and nature of climate change and associated impacts after mid-century. The emerging emphasis on "adaptive risk management", now reflected in the approach of US National Climate Assessment, seeks to integrate adaptation and mitigation. The new Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios grew out of collaborations between the integrated assessment and climate modeling communities that were started in part at an AGCI session in 2006. The RCPs do not provide socioeconomic scenarios, and these are currently being developed to support research on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, as well as anthropogenic forcing and mitigation. This is important because achieving the lower RCPs will clearly require explicit mitigation policies. At the same time, a new field of climate science called decadal climate prediction is attempting to produce more viable climate change information for adaptation planning and decision support over the next thirty years or so.   View double arrow

Climate Sensitivity on Decadal to Century Timescales: Implications for Civilization

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20 May - 25 May 2012
AGCI's upcoming workshop explores the implications of the longer term response of the Earth to elevated co2 and the implications for civilization. Scientists characterize the response of the Earth's global average temperature to a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels as the Earth's climate sensitivity. For over twenty years the value for climate sensitivity utilized in most climate models is in the range of 1.5 to 4.5 deg C. Socio-economic scenarios for this century utilized by the IPCC provide estimates of future radiatively important emissions to drive a set of climate models to produce a climate response by the end of the century of between 1.8 to 4.0 deg C. When longer timeframes are considered there are strong indications from the record of the Earth's past that additional feedback mechanisms come into play that build upon the fast feedbacks of this century yielding a greater climate sensitivity and significantly higher global average temperature. These so called slow feedbacks include changes in glacial ice, release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing of permafrost land areas, and release of methane from continental shelf deposits. The consequence of this for the biosphere -- its ecosystem and services -- places civilization in unchartered territory beyond the scope of the usually discussed mitigation and adaption strategies. Given this more dramatic scale of change humanity is possibly facing, what are appropriate responses? An interdisciplinary group designed to provide insight into the physical climate, biological interactions, and socio-economic ramifications of this question will assemble in May to explore this question and report on their findings.  View double arrow

Informing a Forest Health Index and Bioclimatic Monitoring Network for the Roaring Fork Valley

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20 January - 20 January 2012
In support of For the Forest and their effort to produce an annual "State of the Forest" report, the Aspen Global Change Institute is bringing together experts on bioclimatic monitoring, forest ecology, adaptive management, and climate change to provide input on the development of a Forest Health Index and the priorities components of a bioclimatic monitoring system that could inform the public and resource managers in the Roaring Fork Valley.  View double arrow

Making Sense of the multi-model decadal prediction experiments from CMIP5

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26 June - 1 July 2011
This 2011 workshop on decadal modeling is a follow-up to a 2008 AGCI session where participants formulated a first-ever experimental design to address the science issues involved with decadal prediction that became incorporated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). Since decadal prediction is new for the climate science community, most of the decadal experiments for CMIP5 are hindcasts designed to quantify expected skill of the predictions. The purpose of this session is to make sense of the decadal hindcasts/predictions in terms of evaluation metrics, skill quantification, and summary figures that communicate the synthesis of the multi-model results. The product of the session will be a journal article that can then be assessed as part of the IPCC AR5. Participants will be asked to prepare some preliminary diagnostics in advance of the meeting. This will be the first time a synthesis will be attempted of a multi-model dataset of decadal hindcasts/predictions and will be crucial in order to make a vital contribution to the IPCC AR5.   View double arrow