Reporting period April 2001 - September 2001

Work package 1 Activities :

The objective of the first Work Package (WP1) has been to consolidate approaches and develop an understanding of the requirements for representing climate change in performance assessments (PA) as perceived by the BIOCLIM participants. This was achieved through the collaboration between the organisations with responsibility for disposing of national radioactive waste and the regulatory agency within the BIOCLIM consortium. Information has been collated and summarised in two separate documents on:

The first document (Deliverable 1) summarises the mechanisms causing climate change, provides a synopsis of how environmental change is currently treated in such assessments, and summarises the lessons learned to date from such applications. The second document (Deliverable 2) provides present day narrative pictures together with palaeological climate and vegetation data for four European regions where deep radioactive disposal sites might be developed. This work will contribute to future Work Packages as a basis for understanding how past climate changes have influenced the current regional biosphere systems in order to lay the basis for modelling how radionuclides might migrate and accumulate in future biosphere systems following release from a repository.

Work package 2 Activities :

The purpose is to simulate the future environment, more precisely climate and vegetation, of European areas within which disposal sites may be established. A hierarchical strategy has been set up.

  1. A simple model (the threshold model developed by LSCE/CEA) and a model of intermediate complexity (the LLN 2-D NH climate model developed by UCL/ASTR) have been used to simulate climate change over the next one million years.
  2. A GCM will be used to provide a more detailed picture of the climate over Europe.
  3. A regional climate model will be used to produce estimates of local climate conditions and the results obtained compared with those based on statistical downscaling methods.
Different scenarios of atmospheric CO2 concentration, incorporating natural and fossil fuel contributions, have been designed. These scenarios of future changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration and computed orbital parameters for the future have been used to force both the threshold and the LLN 2-D NH climate models over the next one million years. The models provide the time evolution of continental ice volume over the next one million years, as well as the Northern Hemisphere annual mean temperature over the same period. The results of these simulations have been evaluated and used to identify specific climatic situations of particular interest for studying the impacts of radioactive waste repository sites. More precisely, six epochs have been selected for which the GCM will be used to simulate the climate at a space resolution of about 400 km. The vegetation changes in response to climate change will also be simulated.

Work package 3 Activities :

The objective is to obtain a set of very long term climatic simulations in the future, and thus provide a continuous description of possible future climate changes. The activities are still currently concerning the development and the validation of the tools to be used in these long term experiments.

Work package 4 Activities :

Although WP4 is not due to commence until Month 25, discussion and proposals are already being made. WP4 will use the knowledge and understanding derived from the preceding work packages to identify and describe the potential effects of environmental evolution on biosphere systems. Methods to evaluate the effects of environmental change will be agreed that follow closely the methodology adopted for the IAEA BIOMASS programme.

- " Reporting period October 2000 - April 2001 "
- " Reporting period April 2001 - September 2001 "
- " Reporting period October 2001 - March 2002 "
- " Reporting period April 2002 - September 2002 "
- " Reporting period October 2002 - December 2003 "