Newsletter for researchers and stakeholders

Issue 1

News, information, tips, and updates by the EUCP,  the research project that develops an innovative European regional ensemble climate prediction system based on a new generation of improved and typically higher-resolution climate models to support practical and strategic climate adaptation and mitigation decision-taking on local, national and global scales.

Introducing the EUCP project:
towards a European Climate Prediction system

The EUCP project aims to provide better climate information to both scientists and users impacted by climate change and variability from a year to 40 or more years into the future. Predictions and projections of climate can help governments, businesses and other stakeholders better plan how to deal with the challenges and opportunities that a changing climate brings. EUCP is combining new research with better knowledge of user needs in order to develop the scientific approaches needed for a practical climate prediction system for Europe, focusing on:

• Improving climate forecasts for the next few years ahead (from a season out to a decade) – a time-scale that is vital for many decision makers – and pioneering approaches that will allow users to more seamlessly between products at different timescales.

• The use of very high resolution regional climate projections which are better able to simulate the convective activity associated with extreme weather, and working with users to take the new information through to applications such as urban flood planning.

• Extracting more useful and useable information from climate model ensembles, focusing on how such model ensemble might be constrained or sub-selected, as well as applying storyline and narrative approaches as an alternative way of extracting and communicating future climate information.

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User involvement, the cornerstone of EUCP

EUCP realises that providing useful and useable information about our future climate requires bringing together the providers and users of the information in an iterative process of co-development.  The EUCP Multi-user forum (MUF) will bring together representatives from public bodies and authorities, civil society organisations, businesses, risk-related partnerships, financial organisations and academic institutions. The members of MUF will be able to work with the project scientists to influence the design of the climate prediction system that EUCP is developing so that it can be better used to support climate adaptation and mitigation decisions for the coming decades.

Read more about this.

If you would like to be involved in the EUCP framework, please follow the link

We would be grateful for your feedback and suggestions on how our project might bring further benefits to users of climate information.

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The state-of-the-art regional climate modelling

In EUCP state-of-the-art regional climate models have been used to produce climate simulations at a resolution that has never been produced before on a European level. The new very high resolution regional simulations better represent real world geographic features such as the topography, coasts, cities environments, and also better resolve mechanisms such as atmospheric convection, which is associated with storms. This will benefit users by producing improved simulation of extremes events such as intense rainfall, including providing access to projection information on finer time-scales than earlier models.  Many of the new simulations are completed and the first stage of analysis has demonstrated a clear improvement of the new models over those previously used for regional simulation, for instance for extreme precipitation. Analysis is now focusing on the climate changes simulated by the higher resolution models.

Read more and see some early results here

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Decadal prediction: what are the biggest knowledge gaps

Decadal predictions provide information for the timescales of 1-10 years, addressing needs of policy-makers and stakeholders from various economic sectors and societal groups.  EUCP and BSC’s Earth Sciences Department organised an expert workshop to address some questions and issues that should be addressed in the near future if we are to move decadal prediction from research to a widely used operational climate service.  The workshop was attended by 50 climate scientists from six continents with a broad spectrum of research interests.

Read more about the recommendations that came out of these workshop discussions here 

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Untangling complexity in climate projections

Climate projections on time-scales longer than a decade provide an information source for mitigation and adaptation planning. EUCP is pioneering new ways to extract more information from sets of existing and future climate model experiments in order to help users to make better climate related decisions. A key challenge in using climate projections has been in how to interpret the wide range of simulated changes that come from models with quite different characteristics. EUCP looks to help to help by exploring a number of methodologies that compare model results with observed changes and/or observed climatology to down-weight the least realistic simulations, and then assess the impact on the range of projected future climate changes for Europe.

Click here to read more and see some early results of recent work comparing different approaches to constraining projected temperature changes over Central Europe.  

These approaches and results for both temperature and precipitation, for a wider range of European regions, have been submitted for scientific publication. We are now looking for potential case studies where we could explore how this information can add value for downstream climate impacts assessment. Interested users of global climate data are encouraged to get in touch.

Brunner, L., McSweeney, C.F et al.  (Submitted to J. Clim.) Quantifying uncertainty in projections of future European climate: a multi-model multi-method approach. 

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EUCP needs you!

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European Climate Prediction system: producing actionable climate information for risk-based planning