• An Erratum to this article was published on 25 February 2015

This article has been updated

Abstract

Society is vulnerable to extreme weather events and, by extension, to human impacts on future events. As climate changes weather patterns will change. The search is on for more effective methodologies to aid decision-makers both in mitigation to avoid climate change and in adaptation to changes. The traditional approach uses ensembles of climate model simulations, statistical bias correction, downscaling to the spatial and temporal scales relevant to decision-makers, and then translation into quantities of interest. The veracity of this approach cannot be tested, and it faces in-principle challenges. Alternatively, numerical weather prediction models in a hypothetical climate setting can provide tailored narratives for high-resolution simulations of high-impact weather in a future climate. This 'tales of future weather' approach will aid in the interpretation of lower-resolution simulations. Arguably, it potentially provides complementary, more realistic and more physically consistent pictures of what future weather might look like.

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Change history

  • 28 January 2015

    In the print version of this Perspective, the last sentence in Box 1 was cut off, and should have read "The model information of this specific case added with 'what-if' scenarios of sea-level rise and on changes in extreme rainfall have been provided to water managers and now aid in designing adaptation measures in a realistic setting." This error has been corrected in the online versions.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Jan Gooijer of regional water authority Noorderzijlvest for providing the observations shown in Figure B1 and his feedback on the use of Tales in practice. W.H., G.J.v.O., and B.vd.H. were co-sponsored by Knowledge for Climate Theme 6 project E.M, and E. V. were co-sponsored NWO/KvK project Bridging the Gap between stakeholders and climate scientists (NWO 830.10.008). L.A.S. and D.A.S. acknowledge the support of LSE's Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE's Centre for Climate Change and Economics and Policy funded by the ESRC and Munich Re, and UK EPSRC grant EP/K013661/1. L.A.S. is grateful for the continuing support of the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA De Bilt, The Netherlands

    • W. Hazeleger
    • , B.J.J.M. van den Hurk
    • , E. Min
    •  & G.J. van Oldenborgh
  2. Meteorology and Air Quality Department, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708 Postbus, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    • W. Hazeleger
  3. Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC), Science Park 140, 1098 XG Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    • W. Hazeleger
  4. VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    • B.J.J.M. van den Hurk
    • , A.C. Petersen
    •  & E. Vasileiadou
  5. University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

    • A.C. Petersen
  6. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK

    • D.A. Stainforth
    •  & L.A. Smith
  7. Oxford University, Pembroke College, Pembroke Square, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DW, UK

    • L.A. Smith
  8. School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands

    • E. Vasileiadou
  9. Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

    • D.A. Stainforth
  10. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK

    • D.A. Stainforth

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Contributions

W.H., D.S., A.P., B. vd. H.,G.J. v O., and L.S. developed the main idea of Tales, W.H. wrote the majority of the first draft; A.P., W.H., E.M., and E.V. provided insights on interactions between climate scientists and users reflected in the text; G.J.v.O. provided input on the forecast quality section; B.vd.H. provided insights on local vulnerability reflected in the article and the box; L.S. and D.S. provided insights on the impacts and identification of model inadequacies in climate simulation models. All authors contributed at different stages to drafts of the article with a major final edit by D.S. and L.S.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to W. Hazeleger.

About this article

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2450

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