The main research objective of this action is to develop an innovative European regional ensemble climate prediction system based on a new generation of high-resolution climate models, covering timescales from seasons to decades initialised with observations. The action should conduct a series of multi-method and multi-model experiments in order to better capture uncertainties, and provide user-centred and demand-driven information which addresses user needs at various levels.
The system should focus on near term (~1-40 years) predictions, which is the time span most relevant for many decisions of businesses and public authorities for infrastructure and other planning.
The regional downscaling programme, an integral part of the multi-model ensemble prediction system, should target Europe at the best technically achievable spatial resolution. Methodologies should be transferable to other geographical areas. Evaluation of model results against observations is considered essential.
Climate model data should be widely disseminated, and therefore need to be easily accessible and available in line with Copernicus Climate Change service specifications.
Strong engagement with stakeholders and climate information end-users, including public sector policy-makers, business organisations and customers representing specific market sectors is an essential requirement of this action.
In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries having developed similar systems and with countries wishing to develop capacities.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 13 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Up to one action shall be funded.
European decision makers and businesses currently lack access to a consistent and authoritative Europe-wide set of climate simulations at appropriate spatial and temporal scales upon which regional, national and local climate-related risk assessments and climate change adaptation programmes and businesses could be built. There is high demand for, and an urgent need to develop, integrated multi-model ensemble climate predictions at European scale which can provide actionable climate information and assessments. This integrated climate prediction system should go hand in hand with coordinated regional modelling and observational studies to constitute a robust foundation for Europe-wide climate service activities. It should be based on user requirements and provide trustworthy and easily accessible climate information which can be utilised across Europe and beyond.
The unique ensemble of climate predictions developed in this action should become the reference climate information from regional to local scale across Europe to assess the impacts and risks of climate variability and change as solid basis upon which investment decisions, spatial planning, policy and adaptation options can be built. More specifically, project results are expected to contribute to:
- increasing the credibility and usability of climate predictions, and the identification and characterisation of trends in regional climate extremes;
- providing an authoritative foundation of climate information to assess the impact of climate change;
- boosting climate service market applications at European level for a variety of sectors, based on the new information;
- supporting the building of a climate resilient economy and strengthening civil protection;
- closing the gap between 'top-down' climate information provisions and 'bottom-up' end-user requirements;
- implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 13 'Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts', as well as the conclusions of the COP21 Paris Agreement.