Developing the SSPs: Taking Stock of Successes, Areas to Improve for the Future

Organizers: Eric Kemp-Benedict (Stockholm Environment Institute), Jonathan Lamontagne (Tufts University)


When the architecture for the current round of climate scenarios was being developed, the architects looked back to the SRES exercise. They asked what lessons they could draw from the SRES experience and took those lessons into account. In this session we do the same with the SSPs, considering both the further development of the SSPs themselves and global climate scenario development more broadly.

Panelists will be asked to respond to the following prompt and then the floor will be opened for questions from the audience:

The SSPs are community-led and primarily voluntary. They were designed to allow for considerable flexibility, particularly in giving regional or thematic detail. Their development was also constrained by conflicting and legitimate demands from multiple parties. With those factors in mind, please respond to one or more of the following questions in your introductory remarks:

1.       Where did the SSPs help to make progress in scenario-based climate change research?

2.       Where did they fall short so far, i.e. in which areas is further progress needed?

3.       Did the SSPs manage to engage the IAV community more than before? Did they facilitate integration of impacts and mitigation?

4.       Lessons learned regarding the SSP-RCP scenario framework. Do we need additional SSPs? Revise the SSPs? What SSP extensions are needed, what cross-links are still to be made? Do we need to adjust the framework?

5.         Broader thoughts on global scenario exercises. Given your knowledge of other global scenario exercises, what does the SSP-RCP framework do well? Where could it be improved? What should be taken into account in future exercises?