National climate scenarios are the basis to support climate policy, both for mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for the design and implementation of adaptation measures. A former CORDEX.be project produced detailed Belgian climate scenarios based on three regional climate models run by four Belgian climate modeling groups. The spatially detailed model results (at 4 km resolution) demonstrated a more realistic representation of the extreme climate events. These scenarios were then used for several impact studies on:
- crop production;
- vegetation emissions;
- urban effects.
Computing climate scenarios with great spatial detail was a priority in the Belgian national adaptation plan (2017-2020) and is proposed as an action item for the next adaptation plan.
The scenarios of the CORDEX.be project have to be updated for the following reasons:
- the regional climate models are being further developed, implementing new science and more focused on climate extremes;
- the scenarios should be in line with the outcomes of the latest and Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2021);
- there is a growing need from various stakeholders linked to sectors sensitive to climate change (e.g. health, infrastructure, transport, energy) for very detailed spatial and temporal climate information and data regarding extreme weather events; and
- the data management of the climate scenarios among the Belgian climate modeling community should be better coordinated.
The CORDEX.be II project is addressing these needs while maintaining a close dialogue with climate-change stakeholders. A number of climate change impact studies will be included to demonstrate that the climate scenarios will address the stakeholders’ needs. This will include assessments of climate risks based on critical extreme weather indicators. Some case studies of extreme weather events will be performed.