The climate is clearly changing, and as a result, society is regularly confronted with extreme weather and climate-related hazards. In order to lessen future climate risk and prepare adequately for it, decision makers need more consistent, authoritative, and actionable climate information. The overarching objective of EUCP is to develop, through its research, the foundation for a future regional climate prediction system which will help scientists and climate information providers produce this kind of information.

This European Climate Prediction system is developed through research that aims at a set of four objectives:

Objective 1

Combine shorter- and longer-term climate predictions and projections covering the 1-40 year timescale, as well as high-resolution regional models. Use climate observations to evaluate and calibrate the models’ simulations and reduce uncertainty (the range of possible outcomes given by the simulations) where possible.

EUCP will link current climate observations, near future predictions and more distant future projections in a continuous projection out to 40 years in the future, which no other system currently achieves. The system will use numerous predictions and projections at the global and regional scale, from both existing models and those in development, and utilise new tools to combine the information from all these components into useful analyses of the impacts of climatic events. To create this system we will address the many barriers to providing such seamless forecasts, including error-producing effects at the beginning of some projections, the models’ need for observation-based corrections to improve near-term reliability, and the use of outside restrictions to reduce uncertainty in the longer term.

Relevant work packages: Work Package 1, 2, 3 & 5

Objective 2

Utilise the system to co-produce, with end-users, consistent, authoritative and actionable climate information, producing a robust foundation for Europe-wide climate service activities and supporting climate-related risk assessments and climate change adaptation programmes.

The system produced by EUCP will provide an authoritative framework to assess the impacts and risks of climatic changes across Europe and beyond, from a regional scale to a smaller local scale. Such a framework will be useful to many industries and organisations, helping them make informed decisions regarding investment choices, spatial planning, and policy and adaptation options.

Relevant work packages: Work package 4, 5 & 6

Objective 3

Use a set of case-studies of high-impact extreme weather events in the near past and near future to demonstrate the utility of this information in real-world applications, drawing on high-resolution regional climate models and collaboration with targeted end users to produce useful risk information.

EUCP will produce reliable assessments of the likelihood of high-impact, extreme climate events in the near future, up to 10 years ahead. These events can be predicted based on the current state of the climate and how it is expected to change, and the assessments produced by EUCP will be useful for risk-based planning and decision making. EUCP will also provide information on the possible occurrence of extreme events further into the future, up to 40 years ahead, helping vulnerable industries and sectors enhance their long-term resilience. These two kinds of projections cater to those who require plausible projections of future climate, as well as those used to making decisions after consulting a wide range of possible future scenarios. EUCP will also provide clear guidance and case studies on how the best features of both approaches can be combined and exploited together, providing a significant step forward from simple climate observations and model simulations.

Relevant work packages: Work Package 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Objective 4

Develop and publish methodologies, good practice and guidance for producing and using authoritative climate predictions over timescales of 1-40 years.

The system and methodologies developed by EUCP will be sustainable into the future. As newer, more advanced climate models become available they can be integrated into the EUCP framework and the benefits they bring translated into useful information for our partners. EUCP will also continuously tailor its output based on user feedback, improving the service we can offer. This represents a significant change in how we use major climate assessments, such as those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Relevant work packages: Work Package 1,2,3,4,5, & 6