Climate models are important instruments for quantifying the expected climate changes due to changes in the atmospheric composition (e.g. the concentration of greenhouse gases), which is necessary for
- a correct interpretation of the observed climate changes;
- calculating the climate sensitivity for these changes;
- better understanding of the mechanisms and phenomena that take place in our climate system.
The RMI uses an adapted version of the ALARO model that is validated according to the international standards for climate simulations.
Research in the field of climate modeling has largely been carried out within the recent CORDEX.be project in collaboration with eight Belgian partners in various universities and research institutions. In this context, climate scenarios for Europe and Belgium were calculated according to the emission scenarios that were presented in the Fifth IPCC Assessment report. These scenarios are currently available for further research.
In addition to weather forecasts and climate simulations, atmospheric models are also a necessary tool for nuanced and independent advice for policymakers, both for social risks caused by extreme weather and the climate. The climate version of the ALARO model is therefore used for more specific policy-oriented impact studies. For example, researchers from the RMI conducted a study into the influence of climate change on the so-called heat-island effect of Brussels according to the IPCC scenarios.