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Better climate predictions for Europe

A new initiative to improve Europe's ability to effectively prepare for and manage climate-related risk on our society was launched today (Nov 6) in Barcelona.

A European initiative for climate service observation and modelling (short ECOMS), funded by the European Commission, will exploit recent advances in our understanding and ability to forecast climate variability and change. It will also work with stakeholders to identify opportunities to develop new and improved tools to extract useful and useable information tailored to the needs of specific sectors (e.g. Energy, health, water resources, food security, forestry, transport, etc.)

Monthly-to-decadal forecasts now hold the 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-exploited.

Therefore, access to credible forecast information, supported by informed guidance, could lead to significant advances in society's ability to effectively prepare for, and manage, climate-related risks.

Chris Hewitt, ECOMS chair said: "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."

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


Chiara Bearzotti (ECOMS project manager) University of Hamburg, Institute of Oceanography Phone: +49 40 42838 7478 Email: chiara.bearzotti@zmaw.de

Prof. Dr. Detlef Quadfasel (ECOMS scientific coordinator) University of Hamburg, Institute of Oceanography Phone: +49 40 42838 5756 Email: detlef.quadfasel@zmaw.de

Dr. Johann Jungclaus (NACLIM) Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Phone: +49 40 41173 109 Email: johann.jungclaus@zmaw.de

Dr. Wolfgang Müller (SPECS) Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Phone: +49 40 41173 370 Email: wolfgang.mueller@zmaw.de

idw :: 06.11.2012