Organization: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Research Title: Regional Climate Change Impact Assessment

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 0.3
FY95 0.3
FY96 0.0

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research (100%)
(b) Environmental Issues: Other
(c) Research Activity: Assessment

Organizational Component:
Atmospheric Sciences
TVA Environmental Research Center
Muscle Shoals, Al 35660-1010

Point of Contact:
James F. Meagher
Phone: 205-386-2342

Research Goals:
Evaluate impacts of potential climate changes or variations in the next 40 or 50 years and assess response options.

Research Description:
TVA is conducting assessments of how climate changes and variations may affect its various programs and the resources of the TVA region. The reservoir system, power system, natural resources, agriculture, silviculture, and economic development are all subject to this concern. Improvements in understanding the natural processes in the TVA region and the effects of human activities on them will also be gained from this assessment program. An integrating theme is to improve the capacity to assess the effects of global change at regional scales on intensively managed natural terrestrial ecosystems. The approach involves development of regional climate scenarios to assess, analysis of regional-global climate pattern relationships, assessment of potential impacts in each program area and on an integrated basis, and strategic planning to develop options or contingency plant. Initial screening has been conducted and climate scenario impact assessments have been started. Regional climatic data base is being expanded. Three climate scenarios for the next 30-50 years and a "no change" climate have been defined. Scenario methods of others and output from regional climate models initialized by output from global climate models will be evaluated to improve TVA regional scenarios.

Program Interfaces:
Evaluate impacts of potential climate changes or variations in the next 40 or 50 years and assess response options.

Program Milestones:
None defined

Policy Payoffs:
Sensitivities to climate changes/variations will be identified and strategic planning will be initiated. Assessment methodologies and improved knowledge of terrestrial atmospheric processes on this regional scale will provide information for improving resource management, adaptation and mitigation strategies, and education of policymakers and the public in this country and other parts of the world. Regional-scale considerations are a critical part of the national and international concerns regarding the issue of global change.