Resource planners and managers interested in utilizing climate model output as part of their operational activities immediately confront the dilemma of scale discordance. Their functional responsibilities cover relatively small geographical areas and necessarily require data of relatively high spatial resolution. Climate models cover a large geographical, i.e. global, domain and produce data at comparatively low spatial resolution. Although the scale differences between model output and planning input are large, several techniques have been developed for disaggregating climate model output to a scale appropriate for use in water resource planning and management applications. With techniques in hand to reduce the limitations imposed by scale discordance, water resource professionals must now confront a more fundamental constraint on the use of climate models-the inability to produce accurate representations and forecasts of regional climate. Given the current capabilities of climate models, and the likelihood that the uncertainty associated with long-term climate model forecasts will remain high for some years to come, the water resources planning community may find it impractical to utilize such forecasts operationally.
Additional publication details
Scale and modeling issues in water resources planning