JRA1 RECIPE - REpresenting Climate Change In Physical Experiments


Representing Climate Change in Physical Experiments


Coastal, estuarine and fluvial environments are vulnerable to future climate change, but successful adaptation to climate change requires an improved prediction of environmental responses over long timescales. However, predicting the impacts of climate change is difficult due to the non-linear responses of biota and sediment transport to changes like rising sea levels or more frequent extreme events such as intense rainfall or storm surges. Future management of the impacts of climate change therefore requires better modelling of the interaction between biota and morphodynamics under predicted changes to hydrodynamic forcing.

Flume experiments provide a unique opportunity to isolate and quantify the impact of different forcing regimes on morphodynamics and biota under controlled conditions, which is essential for validating and improving numerical simulations of the natural environment. Successful physical modelling for climate change adaptation needs to meet the challenge of incorporating and scaling non-linear responses resulting from changes in event frequency and magnitude. RECIPE will address this challenge by developing new innovative experimental techniques, methods and protocols across the following areas: variability in forcing, morphodynamics and biology.