Task 8.1: Critical review of challenges for representing climate change in physical models

The critical review (Task 8.1) is an analysis of the methods and results from previous and on-going research programmes that attempt to use (or have used) physical models to assess the potential impacts of climate change. The review considers models that represent coastal, estuarine and fluvial environments plus experiments that address climate adaptation with regard to sediment dynamics, morphodynamics, ecosystems, ice and structures. This review of existing experimental methods will outline the current stateof-
the-art and will inform the experiments undertaken in Tasks 8.2-8.6 so that protocols and techniques are developed to add value and significantly advance the capacity and outputs of physical modelling facilities.

Global climate change is a grand challenge facing the Earth over numerous spatial and temporal scales (IPCC, 2014). In addition to observing the natural environment and numerical modelling of future scenarios, physical modelling in the laboratory can assist in developing an improved understanding of how Earth systems operate and respond to environmental changes. Physical modelling provides an innovative approach to help understand the impacts of climate change on coastal, estuarine and fluvial systems and to test the efficacy of potential adaptation strategies. These are both essential to improve environmental management over long time-scales. Non-linear feedbacks between processes over different temporal and spatial scales, tipping points, increased variability and higher frequency and magnitude of extreme events such as storms, and complex interactions between biology, morphodynamics and hydrodynamics are considered knowledge gaps in our understanding of climate change impacts and are key focus areas for future research efforts. ...

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