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Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArctiC ClimATE change

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArctiC ClimATE change)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-10-31

The weather and climate of the Arctic have been changing rapidly with profound transformations projected to continue. These changes provide opportunities, such new, shorter shipping lanes between Europe and East Asia; but at the same time, they expose society to major risks, such as environmental hazards associated with increased human activities in the Arctic. Furthermore, anthropogenic climate change is amplified in the Arctic with possible impact on the weather and climate in mid-latitudes, including change in frequency and intensity of extreme events in Europe.
While major progress has been done in recent years, our predictive capacity in the Arctic across time scales remains rather limited, constraining effective decision-making processes. APPLICATE aims at developing enhanced predictive capacity for weather and climate in the Arctic and beyond, and to determine the influence of Arctic climate change on Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, for the benefit of policy makers, businesses and society.

APPLICATE has seven main objectives:
1. Observationally constrain models using advanced metrics and diagnostics
2. Develop enhanced weather and climate models
3. Determine the impact of Arctic climate change on mid latitudes through atmospheric and oceanic linkages
4. Contribute to the design of the future Arctic observing system
5. Enhance the capacity to predict Northern Hemisphere weather and climate
6. Develop and implement APPLICATE’s research programme in coordination with external scientific partners to exploit synergies
7. Transfer the knowledge generated through APPLICATE to stakeholders including training of early career scientists
The project team has made significant progress within every WP with a number of success stories to highlight:
1. Evaluating and improving ECMWF weather forecast errors using observations from the Arctic Supersites (WP1);
2. Evaluating new diagnostics and metrics of the Arctic and Mid-latitude climate in the CMIP6 climate models (WP1);
3. Improved representation of snow in numerical models through incorporation of a multi-layer snow scheme over land and sea-ice (WP2);
4. Development of an Atmosphere-Ocean Single-Column Model, a versatile tool for understanding model behaviour and aid model development (WP2);
5. Development of the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) endorsed under the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) framework (WP3);
6. Arctic observation impact short and medium-range weather forecasts (WP4);
7. Improved seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions (WP4);
8. Identification of optimal sampling locations (WP4);
9. Improved forecast capabilities in near-surface temperature (WP5);
10. Statistical Empirical Model for predicting the Arctic sea ice volume anomaly: building the model and identifying predictors (WP5);
11. New insights from the analysis of stream 1 APPLICATE and Copernicus seasonal forecasts (WP5);
12. ECMWF YOPP  Analysis and Forecast dataset (WP6);
13. A distributed data management system established based on FAIR interoperability standards for discovery metadata and data exchange (WP6).
14. Three case studies for the impact of Arctic climate change developed in collaboration with users on energy production, transportation and hazard preparedness (WP7);
15. Open online course held over three months (started in September 2019) with attendance of 125 students from all around the world (WP7);
16. International coordination of Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) Arctic Observing System Experiments (OSEs) and Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP) (WP8);
18. Collaboration with projects participating in the EU Polar Cluster and other European projects on climate modelling (WP8);
Progress has been made beyond the state of the art at the beginning of the project, including:
• a new set of metrics and diagnostics that are critical to advance predictions in polar regions and beyond and to understand the linkages between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, including extreme events (WP1);
• simulations with coupled climate model configurations at higher resolution that previously was not attainable to shed light on important processes governing circulation patterns in the Arctic (WP2);
• coordinated model experiments avoid many of the potential causes of the different responses to sea ice reported in the literature (WP3);
• first assessment of the role of Arctic observations for forecast skill from short to medium-range timescales (WP4).
• evaluation in multiple systems and with similar protocols of the specific impact on Arctic predictive capacity of different model configurations and process representations (WP5).
• co-production of climate information through case studies addressing how mid-latitudes will be affected by Arctic climate change (WP7);
• structured coordination of experiments such as PAMIP, SIMIP and OSEs (WP8).

Expected results by the end of the project include:
• contribution to our understanding how well weather and climate models represent key processes in the Arctic and the mid-latitude(WP1);
• Applicability of a multi-layer snow scheme for operational weather forecasts performed at ECMWF with the Integrated Forecasting System (WP2);
• Development of emergent constraints to reduce the magnitude spread across models showing the weakening and equatorward shift of surface mid-latitude westerly winds (WP3);
• conclusions regarding the importance of current observing systems, how their benefits can be maximized, and the design of future observing systems (WP4);
• production and analysis of the new set of stream 2 simulations in NWP, seasonal prediction and climate projections (WP5);
• Improved climate prediction in the Arctic can present an important asset for decision-making, if well communicated and tailored to address user needs. APPLICATE case studies demonstrate examples of how these predictions could be used for real-world problems (WP7).

The work carried out within APPLICATE will have several impacts:
1. Improved capacity to predict the weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere, and to better forecast extreme weather phenomena.
2. Improved capacity to respond to the impact of climatic change on the environment and human activities in the Arctic, both in the short and longer term
3. Improved capacity of climate models to represent Arctic warming and its impact on regional and global atmospheric and oceanic circulation
4. Improved uptake of measurements from satellites by making use of new Earth observation assets
5. Optimised observation systems for various modelling applications
6. Robust and reliable forecasting framework that can help meteorological and climate services to deliver better predictions, including at sub-seasonal and seasonal time scales
7. Improved stakeholders’ capacity to adapt to climate change
8. Better servicing the economic sectors that rely on improved forecasting capacity
9. Contributions to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and IPCC scientific assessments, and to the Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) services
10. Improved professional skills and competences for those working and being trained to work within the subject area polar weather and climate prediction.