Dr Claudia Tebaldi

Speaker Bio

Claudia Tebaldi has been a project scientist in the Climate Change Research section of the Climate and Global Dynamics laboratory at NCAR since October 2013 and she is Senior Science Advisor at Climate Central Inc. She holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Duke University, and she was a postdoc and then a project scientist at NCAR from 1997 to 2007. From 2008 to 2013 she worked as a research scientist for Climate Central, a research and communication organization.

Her research focuses on the analysis and statistical characterization of climate change projections and their uncertainty, as derived from climate models, extending from the impacts on the physical climate system, with particular interest in the characterization of changes in extremes, to impacts on human and natural system, like agricultural yields, water resources, health. She is also interested in the detection of observed changes and their attribution to anthropogenic influences. She was a lead author in WG1 of IPCC AR5, Chapter 12, Long Term Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility, and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International ad hoc Detection and Attribution Group.


Characterizing benefits of mitigation and avoided impacts, especially in the context of the Paris warming targets


I will present some highlights from a series of studies that were recently conducted at NCAR within the erstwhile Climate and Human System Project, as part of two collections surveying “Benefits of Reduced Anthropogenic Climate change”: BRACE and BRACE 1.5.


We rely on a set of large initial condition ensembles run with NCAR-DOE’s CESM. The different ensembles explore climate outcomes under RCP8.5, RCP4.5 and three newly designed low-warming pathways addressing specifically the Paris targets of 1.5C and 2.0C global warming above preindustrial. The availability of large ensembles allows us to explore differences in the presence of internal variability, addressing the significance of these differences even when comparing trajectories differing by small global average temperature differentials.

The studies within BRACE and BRACE1.5 address avoided impacts both within the physical climate system and within natural and human systems (e.g., heat and precipitation extremes, agricultural yields, human health, tropical cyclone damages). I will present some of the highlights, focusing on two specific topics: changes in heat extremes and changes in expected crop yields. Besides exploring very different outcomes, obviously, these two analyses also differ in the significance of their results, and the level of uncertainty affecting them, offering a good starting point for a reflection upon the challenges we face in quantifying benefits of mitigation to inform policy decisions.

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