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European researchers want to forecast climate variability

Effort aims to help communities prepare for potential disruption

New European forecast model aims to help address climate disruption.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —While the U.S. is still generally mired in a nonproductive debate about whether global warming is real, a new European climate initiative will try to blend seasonal to decadal forecasting to take advantage of recent advances in the ability to forecast climate variability and change.

The initiative will work to develop new and improved tools to provide specific information for stakeholders like the energy, health, water resources, food security, forestry and transport sectors.

The project is based on the concept that Monthly-to-decadal forecasts hold  potential to be of great value to a wide range of relevant decision making, wherever the outcomes are heavily influenced by climate variability. Despite its potential value in informing European business and adaptation strategy, such forecast information is currently under-used.

Better access to the information could help society to effectively prepare for, and manage, climate-related risks.

“Our vision is that by developing end-to-end impact prediction services, operating on seasonal-to-decadal timescales, and clearly demonstrating their value in informing decision –making, we will stimulate a market for these new tools. In doing so, we will increase the competitiveness of European businesses, and the ability of regional and national authorities to make effective decisions in climate-sensitive sectors,” said ECOMS chair Chris Hewitt.

ECOMS consists of three individual international projects focusing on different stages in providing useful guidance to end-users. These are:

  • NACLIM “North Atlantic climate”, led by the Institute of Oceanography of Hamburg University in Germany, which focuses on improving our understanding of the predictability of the climate in the North Atlantic/ European sector through oceanic observations and on the assessment of decadal climate forecasts http://naclim.zmaw.de
  • SPECS led by the Institut Català de Ciències del Clima (IC3) in Spain, which will deliver a new generation of climate prediction systems for seasonal-to-decadal time scales, to provide actionable climate information for a wide range of users; http://www.specs-fp7.eu/SPECS/Home.html
  • EUPORIAS, led by the Met Office in the UK, which will work on maximising the usefulness of the seasonal to decadal climate information through a close collaboration with the end users and development of tools, techniques and prototype climate services. http://www.euporias.eu
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