Demonstration projects were sought to address infrastructure resilience needs for the Department of Defense (DoD). Specifically, proposals were sought for projects that would assess the currently available approaches regarding statistical and dynamical downscaling of climate-related data and that can be applied to the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project climate model data for the purpose of informing DoD infrastructure planning. Projects were needed that compare, contrast, and identify technical readiness and maturity of currently available state-of-the-science and engineering practice approaches that support infrastructure site planning and engineering design needs for DoD installations in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.
Proposed projects should have assessed the following:
- Strengths and weaknesses of current state-of-the-science downscaling approaches as related to DoD infrastructure planning and design needs.
- Extent to which various downscaling approaches may or may not be particularly suited for regional application within contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.
- Uncertainty impacts inherent in the use of different gridded historical datasets used for the purpose of providing local reference climate data for the different approaches examined.
- Capability to use the downscaled climate data within the context of plausible scenarios while following robust decision-making principles.
The proposed projects should have described model downscaling approach information sources; assessed the cost of use from both the computer computational requirements and fiscal resource perspectives; and characterized, using case studies, the ability of the various model approaches to provide appropriate, authoritative, and practical information to DoD engineers and planners. Preference was given to projects that combined expert analysis with a decision support aid that clearly and impartially elucidated the various approaches, models, and tools available. Proposals that included a decision support aid must have proposed how the decision aid would be demonstrated, identify no less than three and no more than five installations as demonstration sites, and proposed the metrics by which success of the decision support aid would be measured. Proposed installations should represent a range of geographic regions, complex terrain, and resource constraints. Preference was given to projects that identified and recommended clear metrics or standards for DoD use in evaluating current and future downscaling approaches to meet DoD infrastructure planning and design needs. Metrics of interest to consider may include temporal and spatial resolution for temperature and precipitation (including rain versus snow), other hydroclimatic variables relevant to infrastructure concerns, ability to address the impacts of terrain and altitude on downscaling, and capability to capture impacts of regional to local hydroclimatic phenomena not resolved in the global models. Finally, preference was given to proposals that described a robust pathway for the transition and future sustainment of the proposed decision support tool beyond the duration of the project.
Project overviews will appear below as they are posted to the website.
The ESTCP Resource Conservation and Resilience Program Area supports the DoD mission by demonstrating and validating innovative and cost-effective technologies that enhance DoD capabilities that rely on training lands, cantonment areas, test stands, and many other types of facilities and built infrastructure. DoD faces a long-term threat from a changing climate to its infrastructure. The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) previously published a report1 on the use of climate information in decision-making. Proposers should familiarize themselves with this report and other published efforts that compare and characterize downscaling methods.
DoD installations currently use the DCAT (Defense Climate Action Tool) for the integration of projected climate conditions into planning. The tool relies on the Localized Constructed Analogs (LOCA) statistical downscaling technique with a daily temporal and 6 km spatial resolution; the technique currently relies on the prior generation CMIP5 global climate models. Using this information, installation personnel may decide to assess local, specific vulnerabilities. The end state for projects resourced through this effort is to provide the DoD a comparative assessment of the next generation of climate information from CMIP6, insight into new developments of statistical and dynamical techniques to downscale the coarse global model output for improved accounting of local conditions, and a consistent framework to evaluate and assess future approaches relevant to DoD infrastructure as they mature.