Climate change (CC) is one of the main drivers influencing freshwater availability across the Earth. The influence of this global phenomenon on continental surface water and groundwater manifests itself in very diverse and complex forms. While some regions experience a general decrease in their freshwater resources over a certain time period, e.g. in the form of retreating glaciers or decreasing lake and groundwater levels, the opposite is observed in other regions. While some regions experience an increasing frequency of drought events, other regions are confronted with a higher frequency of flood events.
With this in mind, CC risk assessments and adaptation plans have been gradually integrated into the policy-making sphere to ensure future freshwater availability for human activities and ecosystems. It is state-of-the-art that multi-model ensembles (MMEs) of future freshwater-related hazards of CC (e.g. derived by driving a number of global hydrological models by the output of a number of climate models) are optimal for informing CC risk management. However, there is a general lack of knowledge on how to best utilize the information provided by MMEs in CC risk management, in particular for the identification of adaptation measures.
The CO-MICC portal was developed with the purpose of providing boundary organizations and stakeholders acting on different spatial scales (global, transboundary region, river basin) with:
- State-of-the-art MME data on CC freshwater-related hazards in an interactive online portal with a focus on uncertainty representation
- Methods co-developed together with stakeholders for providing and utilizing these MME data for CC risk and adaptation assessments
Co-development of PUNI (Providing and Utilizing eNsemble Information) methods will be done jointly by global hydrological modelers, scientists investigating co-development methods and societal information needs, boundary organizations and stakeholders (end-users). They will all participate in three stakeholder dialogues at the global scale (end-user industries), transboundary scale (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), and river basin scale (Ebro). PUNI methods will be co-developed by testing alternative ways of presenting MME data in support of exemplary CC risk assessments in each stakeholder dialogue in an iterative manner, based on MME data that are either available or generated specifically in the project in response to end-user input.
Expected results include a handbook on PUNI methods and a web portal at UNESCO’s International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change where end-users from around the world will be able to access hydrological MME data for their region of interest for free and in a way that suits their needs, e.g. by selecting a hazard indicator for low flows as well as its spatial and temporal aggregation.