Climate change & extreme events scenarios

Use these guidelines to:

Create local climate change scenarios

Local scenarios integrate information on global climate models and local observations. They serve as input for impact modelling in each urban sector.

Climate change scenarios were generated for the three RESCCUE cities according to different cli- mate variables to be considered in the risk assess- ment, so the adaptation measures can be imple- mented. To reduce the uncertainty level, a great set of climate scenarios was used.

Results showed an increase of mean temperature and heat waves, changes in rainfall concentration and in the extremes of sea level and wave height, among others.

5 steps to your solution:

What is your problem?
What benefifits should you achieve?
What do you need to know?
What can you use?
What should you do?

What is your problem?

What climatic phenomenon affects your area?

Wave height
Sea level

How does it affect?

Damage to people & infrastructure

Prediction vs Projection

Emission scenarios come from possible political decisions so, in the long term, it does not make sense to talk about climate predictions or the most likely scenario. Only in the near term, at the decadal scale or lower, the prediction term is appropriate, because from 20 years ahead all the scenarios are highly similar to each other.

Example of climate predictions (2018-2038) and climate projections (2038-2100) according to a set of model outputs and compared to observations and historical experiments (1978-2018).

What benefits would you achieve?
How does it affect?

Highly detailed scenarios

Local/regional scenarios for the derived variables.

Adapted to your situation

The simulation of the derived variables should be understandable, valuable and usable according to the users’ specific requirements.

With high confidence level

An ensemble of “possible futures” allows to estimate the certainty level accurately.

With high quality

Simulations should also be valid and reliable, thanks to the downscaling method and the whole strategy.

Example of climate change results for a city in the period 2015 to 2100, where the center represents a zero change and the edges represent and increase of 100% with respect to the derived variables to be predicted. The line represents the middle scenario, while the shaded area represents the area of uncertainty.

RESCCUE solves your problems
This is how!

What is your problem?

Where does it affect?
It is a regional problem
It only affects a small location

How long does it last?
It is a very short phenomenon
It lasts several days

Where does it occur?
It is a current problem
It is a possible future problem

What is your time frame?

It is important to deliver high-quality information: understandable, valuable, usable, valid and reliable.

What can you use?

Where does it affect?
1 day – 1 week (Weather forecast*)
Several weeks – 1 decade (climate anomalies PREDICTION)
Several decades – 1 century (climate PROJECTION)

How many models?
Minimum three, but the more the better.
The ensemble strategy allows to estimate confifidence intervals.

How many RCP scenarios?
Advisable to use at least RCP4.5 and RCP8.5**, and combine with several climate models.
Note: Emission scenarios are political wills. i.e. there IS NOT the most probable one.

Scaling spatial and temporal features using dynamical and/or statistical techniques.

What should you do?

Find historical references

Use high-quality observed data as a reference.

Identify exceeding thresholds

Identify the hazard thresholds according to observed damages in the past and apply them to the simulated variables.

Achieve confifidence level

Analyse all possibilities of predictions/projections, and sort them to estimate an interval of frequency cases.

Obtain derived variables

Use tools/models fed by climate simulations in order to obtain derived variables as flflood level, water quality, etc.

Estimate impacts

Estimate the negative effects on your sector.

What can you use to know that?

What is your time frame?What can you use?What can’t you use?
One hourDeterministic weather forecastDeterministic climate projection (unique simulation)
One weekProbabilistic weather forecastDeterministic climate projection (unique simulation)
A few monthsEnsemble seasonal forecastDeterministic climate projection (unique simulation)
A few yearsEnsemble decadal predictionDeterministic climate projection (unique simulation)
A few decadesEnsemble decadal prediction
Ensemble climatic projection
Deterministic climate projection (unique simulation)
Mid and late centuryEnsemble climate projectionDeterministic climate projection (unique simulation)

Climate change and extreme events scenarios experts:

Several RESCCUE partners worked together under the leadership of FIC to identify the climate change drivers and related extreme events and to generate the climate scenarios for Barcelona, Lisbon and Bristol:

– FIC (Climate Research Foundation)
– Aquatec – Suez Advanced Solutions
– Cetaqua (Water Technology Centre)
– Opticits
– LNEC (Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil)

– EDP Distribuiçao Energia
– Ajuntament de Barcelona
– Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
– Bristol City Council

FIC (Climate Research Foundation) was responsible for generating all the climatic, decadal and seasonal scenarios to be used in a common way in the three cities of RESCCUE.

FIC offers simulation and climate prediction services on a local scale, including seasonal prediction, obtaining specifific derived variables according to the requirements of each user.

The Climate Research Foundation also participates in different international projects related to climate change and climate variability aimed at improving adaptation for civil protection and the environment, as well as the management of value chains and livelihoods.

Expert contact info:

28013 – Madrid
Phone numbers: 915 210 111 – 911 400 793

Tools & Results


Climatic change scenarios of extreme events

Climate change & extreme events scenarios


This dataset offers detailed information at a local scale about the future changes in the frequency and intensity of a wide variety of extreme variables due to climate change. The main variables analysed are: temperature-related events (heat waves, maximum temperature, tropical night, warm day, etc.), extreme rainfall, or storm surge, among others. The information provided follows the RCP 4.5 and 8.5, and is divided into three time periods: 2011-2040, 2041-2070 and 2071-2100. Thanks to the methodology implemented in RESCCUE, the use of quality-tested weather observations allows the replicability of these results into any other location.