Data Annex: Climate Data - Overview

The General screening tool is linked online to the World Bank’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP) and the CCKP’s Country Adaptation and Risk Profiles, allowing users to access most of the data concerning hazards in the project location. Further information on the underlying information sources can be found in the CCKP metadata description.
Main data sources: The CCKP’s current datasets are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fourth Assessment Report. Future climate information in the CCKP and profiles is derived from 14 of the 23 available general circulation models (GCMs), which are physically based models of projected climate change. To understand the potential range of climate model outcomes and account for climate model uncertainties, the CCKP presents an envelope of all models depicting the ensemble median, the ensemble high (10th percentile), and the ensemble low (90th percentile) of the model distribution.
Emissions scenarios: Consistent with the Fourth Assessment Report, the CCKP currently uses projections from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) projections, which contain these two emissions scenarios (among others): SRES A2 and SRES B1. By default, the Country Adaptation Profiles display data from the SRES A2 emissions scenario, which is the higher emissions scenario and more closely associated with current estimated CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere1. Climate data from the latest IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is forthcoming (see below).
Time-frames: The default future time-frame depicted in the Country Adaptation Profiles is 2040-59, but data are available for 20-year averages through 2100. The mid-century time-frame is the default option because it is most relevant to the lifetime of World Bank’s projects and investments. However, since project lifetimes can vary, users are encouraged to adjust the time-frame of the climate information as necessary to match the lifetime of project investments.
Spatial scales: The spatial resolution currently provided in the CCKP and the Country Adaptation and Risk Profiles varies among datasets. The historical dataset in the CCKP is represented with a global dataset available at a native scale of 50 km x 50 km (produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), University of East Anglia). Future projections are displayed in their native GCMs resolutions at a 2° scale (~200 km x 200 km). The coarse resolution might not allow for a detailed assessment of climate variability within each grid cell.
The Climate Analysis Tool of the CCKP provides a visualization of global downscaled climate models with daily data at a 0.5° scale (~50 km x 50 km). Users can access this by clicking the Future Climate>Downscaled Climate tab within the CCKP country pages. It is important to keep in mind that uncertainty increases the further these global datasets are downscaled and its outcomes should be interpreted with caution.
The Risk Screening Overview tab of the Country Adaptation and Risk profile to which the screening tools are currently hyperlinked provide the following resolutions: 50km x 50km for historical information; and ~200 km x 200 km for future climate projections. The tool utilizes the A2 default scenario to help users understand and plan for scenarios of greater climate change and the associated risk to World Bank projects.
Updating: Work is ongoing to update the CCKP with datasets from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and will be available by early 2015. Once updated, the CCKP and the Country Adaptation and Risk Profiles will both include the latest generation of climate models from the AR5 for all four Representative Concentration Pathways for atmospheric CO2 (RCPs2) (2.6; 4.5; 6.0; 8.5) and four time periods (2020, 2050, 2070, and 2090).
The CCKP will include all mean model outputs as well as the anomalies as compared with historical data. Model uncertainty will be shown through the 90th and 10th percentile distribution of ensemble models. The Fifth Assessment Report’s general circulation model data available at coarser native resolutions (of around 2° scale) will be visualized at a 50 x50 km grid resolution to provide a good comparison across all historical / current data and future model outcomes.
The sections below address those datasets that are not currently in the CCKP3 highlighting exposure-related thresholds used in Stage 1 (“Screen for exposure to climate and disaster risks”) for sea level rise, storm surge, and strong winds used in the screening tool.