Climate scenarios through Statistical Downscaling for Uruguay

22 March 2018 - The Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) programme is supporting the implementation of the Modelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change (MOSAICC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Uruguay, as a tool to analyze climate risks and assessing climate vulnerabilities. The results of the study “Climate scenarios through Statistical Downscaling for Uruguay”, based on MOSAICC, were presented on 22 March 2018 at the Ministry of Agriculture in Montevideo, Uruguay.  

Vanessa Bentancur and Mariana Molinari, from the Atmospheric Sciences Studies of the School of Engineering (University of the Republic), reported the application of statistical downscaling as a tool to increase the spatial resolution of the models.

The work received comments from the specialists Mario Bidegain (National Institute of Meteorology of Uruguay- INUMET), Rafael Terra (Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Engineering-IMFIA) and Gabriel Casez (IMFIA) and was carried out through the agreement between the FAO and SARAS2 Institute. The study was done with the technical collaboration of FAO (MOSAICC) and the MetGroup Santander of the University of Cantabria, which has developed a portal that allows statistical downscaling. The inclusion of the Uruguayan database to this portal was possible by the contribution of the INUMET and the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA).

Climate scenarios and impacts models are key inputs and instruments to define and implement measures to reduce the effects of climate change, and in particular to develop strategies for facing water excess or deficit, such as relocation plans, improvement of housing in vulnerable areas and hydroelectricity generation.

The results show that, as for minimum and maximum temperatures, a significant positive trend was observed for both warm and cold seasons, being more pronounced in the cold season. Regarding the projections for precipitation, an increase was also found, while a greater increase is shown in the warm season. When comparing the projections of minimum and maximum temperature, it can be said that the thermal amplitude in the cold season would seem to increase.

The study also focused on an analysis of extremes as a way to identify possible trends on extreme weather events that have a significant impact on agriculture. In this case, the results show more high extreme temperature events, less events of frost, more heat waves. In extreme precipitation events, a slight increase was observed in the southern region, while in the northern region greater stability was found. Moreover, the water deficit indicator could decrease, mainly in the cold season. In the case of extreme events of precipitation, the cases are doubled in the warm season compared to the cold season.

During 2018, Uruguay will implement MOSAICC´s module for the modeling of climate change impacts for main crops and pastures which is a fundamental stage for planning and identifying adaptation strategies.

These activities are being implemented in Uruguay, in the framework of the “Integrating Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag)” programme.

Last Updated: 30 May 2018