The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate a framework for assessing Department of Defense (DoD) relevant climate change risks and for incorporating climate information into decision making. Researchers will demonstrate the framework, which links the insight revealed in bottom-up risk analysis with the climate information produced through top-down modeling. Through this approach termed "decision scaling," the sensitivity of DoD installation decision processes to climate change will be revealed through a bottom-up assessment, producing a summary of climate information needs. An assessment of climate modeling methods will be made in terms of their ability to inform the key climate information needs that emerge from the bottom-up analysis. The relative advantage of various climate information tailoring methods, including statistical downscaling and dynamical downscaling, will be evaluated in terms of their ability to provide credible, decision-relevant climate information. The results will provide guidance on the use of climate information and alternative approaches for decision making such as robust decision making and adaptive management.

Technical Approach

The analysis will begin with an assessment of DoD planning processes and their potential sensitivity to changes in climate. This sensitivity analysis will focus on planning decisions related to training, the built environment, and the natural environment. Through discussions with military planners and model-based sensitivity analysis, the climate information needed for decision making in these areas will be identified and serve as the basis for the assessment of climate simulation products. Climate simulations and downscaling approaches then will be assessed in terms of their relative ability to provide credible projections of the climate information needed for specific military planning processes. Based on the results of this assessment, researchers will synthesize guidance on preferred approaches to tailoring climate information for decisions and recommendations regarding alternative decision methods to deal with irreducible uncertainties, such as robust decision making approaches. Finally, the decision framework will be piloted for four decision areas at four installations that span a range of climates and missions.


This project will produce a general decision framework relevant to DoD planning decisions that provides guidance on the use of climate information and decision approaches that are appropriate for the range of uncertainties and decision types that are faced. The analysis will also provide a comprehensive list of climate-sensitive decision processes and a description of the climate information needs for those processes. An assessment of downscaling methodologies evaluated in terms of their ability to provide needed climate information for DoD planning and decisions will be produced and priority climate research needs identified. The decision framework will be evaluated through piloting at four installations with the expectation that the framework and assessment products will be appropriate for application to all DoD installations after the development and validation conducted in this effort. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2015)