Ringberg 2014

WCRP Grand Challenge Workshop: Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity

March 23-28, 2014

Schloss Ringberg
3700 Rottach-Egern, Germany



Bjorn Stevens, Sandrine Bony, Dargan Frierson, Christian Jakob, Masa Kageyama, Robert Pincus, Ted Shepherd, Adam Sobel, Steven Sherwood, Pier Siebesma, Masahiro Watanabe, Mark Webb



Earth has warmed over the last century owing to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. In the absence of mitigating action, further warming will be inevitable over the next decades and centuries. Sufficiently predictive, accepted and understandable climate information at global and regional scales is required to inform adaptation and mitigation strategies. However, a large uncertainty remains about how much, or how quickly, Earth will warm in response to a given increase in the greenhouse gas concentration, and what types of circulation changes will accompany such warming. This uncertainty stems from a poor understanding of how water, in all its phases, couples to atmospheric circulation systems, and it limits the quantitative prediction of many aspects of climate change, such as our ability to predict the future occurrence of heat waves, regional rainfall changes and other impacts of climate change on societies and ecosystems. This uncertainty also hinders efforts to design climate stabilization scenarios. A better physical understanding of the coupling between diabatic and adiabatic processes in the atmosphere and of the role of clouds in this coupling would provide a foundation for improving future assessments of temperature, precipitation and the atmospheric circulation and is necessary to improve the predictive capabilities of climate and weather models over all time and space scales. Attainment of this understanding remains, however, an enormous scientific challenge.

At the Ringberg workshop an esteemed group of international scientists, representing many facets of climate science, will gather to help sharpen the scientific outline of the grand challenge, not only by outlining key and specific questions that must be addressed by the community, but also by identifying those which should and could be addressed over the coming years. Not only will the group help in the articulation of the key questions, but will also adumbrate what an answer could look like, thereby enabling the grand challenge to better illustrate progress in the development of understanding. The expected outcomes of the workshop are: one scientific publication announcing the grand challenge; perhaps the outline of additional publications on specific themes within the grand challenge; clearer ideas for future workshops; a rough outline of a proposal for a major new experimental initiative; strategies for coordinated experimentation or joint development efforts; and the seeds of future collaborations.   


The workshop will consist of short morning lectures organized around the five initiatives within the Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity, with ample free time in the afternoon to work in small (informally organized) groups on specific initiatives/projects and/or publications.  Evening lectures (or plenary sessions) are also being considered.


Agenda: Initiates file download>>> (pdf download)


Participants: Initiates file download>>> (pdf download)


Presentations and Discussion


Further Information:

More information about the workshop can be found on the Opens external link in current windowGrand Challenge Web Page maintained by the WCRP, which includes link to supplementary literature, including the working white paper for the Grand Challenge and related documents Opens external link in current windowhttp://www.wcrp-climate.org/index.php/gc4-clouds-documents