Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Local scale assessment of climate change and its impacts in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Author: Coll, John
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The global climate is warming and there is consensus that recent warming trends will amplify, as the present century progresses, in response to a continued build up of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. However, there are limitations associated with Global Climate Model (GCM) and Regional Climate Model (RCM) outputs for topographically diverse regions. Strategic management decisions relating to maritime upland communities require locally resolved projections of change across a range of elevations, which are not supplied by the present generation of models. Here, some of these challenges are addressed via a series of distinctive analyses. Quality controlled baseline station data are used to assess performance outputs for seasonal mean values of temperature and precipitation from an RCM at representative locations across the region. In the case of temperature these inter-comparisons indicate a warm bias in the RCM-simulated seasonal minima for the transition seasons of spring and autumn, whereas for summer maxima there is a cold bias in RCM-simulated values. RCM-generated outputs of future changes to temperature and precipitation are then variably combined with station data to model altitudinal changes at western and eastern upland locations. These analyses indicate a substantial upward migration in key seasonal temperature isotherms associated with present vegetation zones for the climate change scenarios used. This approach is then extended by applying selected outputs to conduct Climate Change Impact Assessments (CCIAs) for the scenarios used in a series of upland case studies. The analyses flag a number of remaining research challenges. Principally, these are that scale-dependent controls on local topo-climates are not adequately captured in the GCM driven RCM projection. While the approach delivers more refined local-scale projections of possible change across a range of elevations than has hitherto been available, residual uncertainties associated with the use of GCM/RCM outputs remain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral