Abstract

The R&D cooperation agreement with University of São Paulo assessed quantitatively the implications of climate change in offshore operations on Campos Basin in terms of metocean parameters. A certain level of climate change is committed under any mitigation scenario and the question is how much we should expect in the South Atlantic Ocean in the offshore operation lifetime.

Using one Regional Climate Model (BRAMS) and one Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) we downscaled three scenarios from the Community Climate System Model CCSM3.0 developed for the Forth Assessment on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) - one historical reconstruction for the 20th century and two scenarios for the 21th century (low and high greenhouse gas emissions B1 and A2 scenarios respectively).

The analysis shows little difference between these two scenarios for the period 2020-2050 for the averaged temperature and sea level height for the Campos basin. However, analysis of extreme Kinetic Energy events (those that on average exceed two standard deviations) show that when compared to 20th century results over the Campos Basin can increase 180% (B1) and 221% (A2). These results also show increase in overall velocities and directional spreading of superficial currents.

Introduction

Climate change has been configured as one of the greatest environmental challenge to be dealt by society. The oil industry can mitigate climate change contributing to greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts worldwide, while promoting sustainable economic growth (Espinosa et al. 2010). However, some of the physical impacts from climate change are occurring and future impacts are unavoidable in any emissions reduction scenario (IPCC, 2007). Adaptation to climate change is now recognized as an equally and complementary response to greenhouse gas mitigation in addressing climate change (Dell and Pasteris, 2010). The question that poses is the nature, magnitude and rate of climate change that we should expect regionally in our industrial systems in the next 30 years.

To attend this challenge, the R&D cooperation agreement between Petrobras and the University of São Paulo assessed quantitatively the impacts of climate change in offshore conditions on Campos Basin in terms of metocean parameters in the South Atlantic Ocean. General Circulation Models (GCMs) are commonly used for climate change studies, but they are not capable of simulating small-scale process like eddies, current meanders and gravity waves. Downscaling metocean scenarios from GCM through higher resolution numerical hydrodynamic modeling should give a good understanding of the changes from such processes for the use of the Oil & Gas industry. Thus, we used 20th century and future scenarios from the Community Climate System Model 3 (CCSM3) and numerical downscaling processes to evaluate climate change impacts from global to local scales, simulating small and mesoscale metocean dynamical features, transferring CCSM3's results to time-space of Oil and Gas projects. Similar investigations have been performed by Holland et al. (2010) and Done et al. (2011) on Gulf of Mexico Tropical Cyclone Activity where they conclude increasing frequency and intensity of storms and hurricanes.

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