Scenario Development

The future trajectory of the climate system is understood through variations in radiative forcings, and importantly, how society will respond to climate change through changes in technology, economics, policy, and lifestyle decisions. The climate modeling community uses scenarios that translate qualitative changes in socio-economic developments into quantitative pathways using Integrated Assessment Models to assess the range of response options to climate change. However, scenario research involves a range of approaches and models depending on user needs and research questions. This range of approaches provides separate pieces of information that work together to explore a holistic understanding of potential futures. Here we highlight a webinar series organized by the International Committee on New Integrated Climate Change Assessment Scenarios (ICONICS) that describes the process of developing new socioeconomic scenarios to facilitate interdisciplinary research and assessment on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

ICONICS Inaugural Webinar – Introduction

Speaker: Brian O’Neill (JCGRI)

Date aired: 22 February 2021

Brian O’Neill (JCGRI) presents the SSPs and RCP framework in the first tutorial of the inaugural ICONICS webinar held on 22 February 2021. Participants learned about the SSP-RCP scenario framework and the matrix architecture, SSP regional and sectoral extensions and available resources for learning about and working with the SSPs.

ICONICS Webinar on the Achievements and Needs of the Scenarios Framework

Speakers: Dr. Bas van Ruijven (IIASA), Dr. Tim Carter (SYKE)

Date aired: 6 April 2021

About: Dr. Bas van Ruijven (IIASA) and Dr. Tim Carter (SYKE) present and discuss the recommendations from the “Achievements and Needs of the Scenarios Framework” paper:…. Achievements and plans forward for the SSPs and RCPs based on the Achievements and Needs of the Scenarios Framework.

ICONICS Webinar – Societal and Climate Change

Speakers: Dr. Kris Ebi (UW Global Change), Dr. Jana Sillmann (CICERO)

Date aired: 25 May 2021

About: This series focuses on societal and climate conditions. Dr. Kris Ebi from UW Global Change presents the consensus study on the US Global Change Research Needs and Opportunities for 2022-2031. Dr. Jana Sillmann from CICERO speaks about how event-based storylines can be used to better communicate risk.

ICONICS webinar – “Producing a broader range of reference scenarios that include impacts and policy.”

Speakers: Tim Carter (SYKE), Elmar Kriegler (PIK), Franziska Piontek (PIK)

Date aired: 28 September 2021

About: Tim Carter, Research Professor at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) introduces the topic, followed by Elmar Kriegler, Head of the Research Department “Transformation Pathways” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research (PIK) and Franziska Piontek, Senior Scientist at PIK, who both expand on examples, caveats, and advantages of integrated impacts and policy scenarios. Chaired/Moderated by Bas van Ruijven, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

ICONICS Webinar – Updating the socioeconomic projections of the SSPs.

Speakers: Detlef van Vuuren (PBL), Samir K.C. (IIASA), Wolfgang Lutz (IIASA), Rob Dellink (OECD), Marian Leimbach (PIK)

Date aired: 2 November 2021

About: This webinar chaired by Bas van Ruijven, Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar at IIASA, features a series of talks addressing updating the socioeconomic projections of the SSPs by panelists: Detlef van Vuuren, Senior Researcher at PBL; Samir K.C., Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar for the Multidimensional Demographic Modelling Research Group-Population and Just Societies Program at IIASA; Wolfgang Lutz, Acting Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar for the Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group-Population and Just Societies Program at IIASA; Rob Dellink, Senior Economist at OECD; and Marian Leimbach, Senior Scientist at PIK.