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European Climate Observations, Modelling and Services - 2

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Climateurope (European Climate Observations, Modelling and Services - 2)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-11-30

There have been large investments and significant progress made to translate climate information into climate services for managing climate-related risks. The EC is funding major projects to develop the research and innovation needed for climate services. Key programmes are: JPI-Climate, to coordinate climate research in several European countries; Climate-KIC, to create innovation through linking business and academia; and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) to deliver operational climate service products.

While there are benefits from having a diverse range of activities, without coordination there can be confusion amongst decision- and policy-makers and funding bodies, who often see a disparate range of unconnected activities. Therefore the EC are funding Climateurope as Europe’s principal coordination mechanism in this arena, with the following top-level objectives:
1. Develop a framework to enable better integration and coordination of European Earth system modelling and climate service activities. Central to this framework is a managed network of European, national and international activities and organisations.
2. Use this framework to coordinate and integrate the various initiatives and facilitate dialogue among the relevant stakeholders to improve synergies, reduce fragmentation and promote alignment between activities.
3. Assess the state-of-the-art in Earth system modelling and climate services in Europe, identify gaps, new challenges and provide forward-looking recommendations for emerging needs for research and innovation.
4. Enhance communication and dissemination activities with stakeholders to welcome and actively involve them in the network.

Climateurope itself is not providing climate services or Earth-system model data – such activities are the responsibilities of the organisations, projects and activities with which the Climateurope network is engaging. For further details see the project website www.climateurope.eu and a News article by Hewitt et al in the 2017 Climate Services journal.
Climateurope has greatly improved coordination and integration through its consortium representing key European initiatives, namely: C3S, Climate-KIC, JPI-Climate, European Research Area network for climate services, the European Network for Earth System Modelling, and FP7 and H2020 Earth system modelling and climate service projects. The consortium members also have leading roles in major international programmes such as the World Climate Research Programme, the Global Framework for Climate Services; the Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment. Since the start of the project additional programmes and activities have joined Climateurope’s network.

This network of activities and organisations is at the core of Climateurope’s framework. The network is being actively managed and developed, and involves actors from the scientific community, funders and user communities including public sector and private sector, representing a range of disciplines. The network is currently 350 members strong.

Climateurope has been facilitating dialogue among stakeholders though communication and dissemination activities, enabling participants to actively collaborate and share knowledge, improving synergies, reducing fragmentation and better aligning activities. Stakeholder knowledge and awareness of climate science is also being enhanced. We are reaching audiences through alternative ways of communicating, such as social media, whilst still using the traditional mechanisms of scientific publications, expert groups and workshops.

The main communication channels are:
• A series of Festivals to connect people through a varied and interactive programme blending informal and formal talks, round table and panel discussions, and networking sessions, with the potential to incorporate the arts, social media and other innovative approaches. Two Festivals have been held (Valencia in April 2017, Belgrade in October 2018) and proved highly popular.
• The production of a range of documents, including fact sheets, newsletters, policy briefings, and report on the state-of-the-art in Earth system modelling and climate services in Europe along with forward-looking recommendations on research needs.
• An informative and regularly updated website providing information in easily understandable terminology and languages other than English. It is the platform to advertise Climateurope‘s activities, to showcase examples of climate services (successful and unsuccessful), and includes videos, newsletters, interviews and publications, and links to other Earth System Modelling and Climate Services platforms and initiatives.

New communication channels are being explored. These include the use of Twitter (with over 700 followers), LinkedIn (with over 100 group members), and two webinar series, which have been archived as a series of videos through YouTube and the Climateurope website for those unable to participate live. The series of webinars were presented by a group of multi-disciplinary experts and have led to initial thoughts on gaps, challenges and emerging needs. A series of videos have been made from the first Festival. Colourful cartoon art has been used as a way of recording the main outcomes of the two Festivals. Climateurope’s social media accounts help promote the videos and other Climateurope activities including relevant news stories from the network members.
Climateurope has adopted several innovative strategies to develop a framework for enabling better integration and coordination of European Earth system modelling and climate service activities. Most notably, this has been achieved through the successful organisation of the two Climateurope Festivals which brought the network together through a varied and interactive programme as opposed to a traditional conference or workshop. Additionally, we have employed new communication channels such as social media, and popular webinar series, which allow for fruitful two-way interaction between experts and the community.

The expected potential impacts of Climateurope include:
• Better integration and coordination of European Earth system modelling and climate service activities through the managed network of European, national and international activities and organisations, which will improve synergies, reduce fragmentation and promote alignment.
• Improved resilience of European society to climate change and mitigation of the risk of dangerous climate change. Such resilience and mitigation are crucially dependent on access to the best available climate information targeted to the specific application. Collaboration and knowledge sharing will help the research community to more accurately simulate climate evolution and improve the reliability of science-based climate information.
• Assessment of the state-of-the-art in Earth system modelling and climate services in Europe to identify gaps, new challenges and provide forward-looking recommendations.
• Enhanced impact of research and innovation through the Festivals, webinars, website, fact sheets, newsletters, policy briefings, and reports.
• Contributing to the implementation of the European Roadmap for Climate Services, providing useful guidelines to European research on engaging in the fast-developing climate services field.
Climate Services at Work
Visual summary of Climateurope
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