Reducing Risk and Climate Proofing the Future with the SimCLIM Open Framework Software System

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The SimCLIM Open Framework Software System has just been released for global distribution. It is a powerful package developed over 15 years of scientific endeavor. Users can customize the package through the easy importation of local climate data. Models for examining the potential impacts of climate change on a wide range of sectoral interests ranging from infrastructure to the environment are already preloaded in the program or can be developed and attached.

A new software package called SimCLIM Open Framework System has just been released on the World Wide Web. The software enables a wide range of potential users from engineers to environmentalists and commercial users to non governmental organistions to examine future climate scenarios in the context of their particular sectoral interests.

The SimCLIM Open Framework System is a software product within the CLIMsystems Ltd range of climate simulation and impact model tools. SimCLIM is designed to support decision making and climate proofing in a wide range of situations where climate and climate change pose risk and uncertainty. A user customised SimCLIM Open Framework System software package has the capacity to assess baseline climates and current variability and extremes. Risks can be assessed both currently and in the future. Adaptation measures can be tested for present day conditions and under future scenarios of climate change and variability. With the program, users can conduct sensitivity analysis and examine sectoral impacts of climate change. The SimCLIM Open Framework System supports integrated impact analysis at various scales.

The SimCLIM Open Framework System software, found at http://www.climsystems.com/site/home/, provides an easy-to-navigate windows platform for creating a wide range of climate change scenarios using the latest scientific knowledge. The software is unique as it is the first of its type to provide users with the capacity in one software program to examine a range of climate parameters. For example, past climate data can be queried through an extreme event analysis tool which can, among other things, determine the probability of a particular extreme event, such as heavy rainfall or extremely hot or cold temperatures. The probabilities and return periods for such extreme events can also be queried for the future using an array of future scenarios of climate change as released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This type of information is vital to engineers designing infrastructure to withstand future climatic events and a whole host of other individuals and organizations, such as the insurance industry, that must factor in potential climatic risk when planning for developments that will persist into a climate changed future.

The software includes options for importing your own local data through the use of a data importing wizard. The software also incorporates the latest available Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) greenhouse-gas emission scenarios marked by fundamentally different assumptions about fossil fuel consumption, demographic change and economic structures. A total of six emission scenarios (SRES) are included in the package and they can be queried for their associated changes in temperature, sea-level rise (total), sea-level rise (thermal expansion only) and CO2 concentration as produced by the MAGICC model for IPCC. For each SRES the program produces a graph of projections from 1990 to 2100 with low, medium and high estimates. These same scenarios can be used to explore the likelihood of extreme events and future changes in sea level and coastal erosion. A water balance impact model is also included in the software package.

SimCLIM is referred to as an Open Framework System owing to its flexibility. Individual users can easily customize the package through the importation of local data and development of customized impact models that can be easily attached to SimCLIM.

The SimCLIM Open Framework System was designed over a 15 year period by Drs. Richard Warrick and Wei Ye of the International Global Change Institute http://www.waikato.ac.nz/igci/ of the University of Waikato http://www.waikato.ac.nz/ Hamilton, New Zealand. The SimCLIM Open Framework System is part of an ongoing effort to design tools to aid decision making in a climate changed world.

The results generated by the SimCLIM Open Framework System can be exported in a number of formats and the spatial outputs can be quickly added to reports and presentations where they can add great visual impact. Comprehensive on-line help is also available.

The SimCLIM Open Framework System represents the primary product of CLIMsystems Ltd. It incorporates many elements of previously released products such as the Sea Level Rise Scenario Generator and CoastCLIM, a coastal erosion modeling tool. A Technical Preview of the SimCLIM Open Framework System can be downloaded from http://www.climsystems.com/site/downloads. Visit http://www.climsystems.com/site/home/ or email info@climsystems.com for information on all CLIMsystem’s product.

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Peter Urich
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