Skip to main content

European Climate Prediction system

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUCP (European Climate Prediction system)

Période du rapport: 2017-12-01 au 2019-05-31

EUCP (EUropean Climate Prediction) will produce improved methods to characterise uncertainty in climate predictions and projections, regional downscaling, and includes evaluation against observations (objective 1). The climate prediction system will produce consistent, authoritative and actionable climate information (objective 2) and the value of this system will be demonstrated through user relevant examples, with a focus on high impact extreme weather events out to around 40+ years. This includes drawing on convection permitting regional climate models and translating the outputs into risk information (objective 3). It is designed to be sustainable and able to take account of new climate information, such as that produced for the next IPCC assessment, or the latest near-term decadal climate predictions as they become available.
This climate information constitutes the robust foundation on which a range of other climate service activities and investments can be built (objectives 1, 2 and 3). In addition, the methods being developed will be available to others world-wide including through peer-reviewed publications, and can be used in other climate prediction systems (objective 4). As a tangible example, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is developing quality-assured information about the past, current and future states of the climate in Europe and worldwide. C3S is currently in its development phase, but at a later stage C3S intends to develop an operational climate prediction and projection service, and EUCP will provide essential methodologies for such a service.
The capability EUCP will provide will be of significant benefit to a wide range of users and markets in all European countries, including for Government policy-makers, decision-makers in commercial organisations, and providers of climate services including National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and SMEs. EUCP will be a key and world-leading contribution from European science to the Global Framework for Climate Services. Together these will ultimately improve the social and economic well-being of Europe and its citizens.
EUCP aims to address several major challenges in climate science, which will benefit users of climate information.
First, there is currently no clear way to bring together initialised forecasts (often called decadal forecasts) that begin from the current climate state and extend out to a few years ahead, with climate projections driven with external forcings out to many decades ahead. This is needed to give seamless advice to users who want to make decisions on many different time-scales. For instance, a farming business needs to make decisions on seed varieties, field rotation, investment in new infrastructure and even long-term planning to ensure the business remains viable for future generations. EUCP is already helping to do this by assembling the latest decade scale predictions and producing better understanding of where there is extra useful skill in initialised predictions compared to climate projections. It is developing novel methods to merge them during the 1-10 year period (WPs 1 and 5). Future work in WPs 2 and 5 will also merge information on different spatial scales (objectives 1 and 2).
A second major improvement is to go beyond the paradigm of treating all models as being equally likely. Whilst techniques already exist to move from raw model ensembles to constrained projection ranges there has never been a clear intercomparison of contemporary methods informed by user needs. WP2 has made significant progress in setting up such a comparison, bringing together seven different methods. It is beginning work with WP5 to examine how to use different types of physical narrative to better extract and communicate multi model information (objectives 1 and 2).
A third improvement needed in climate prediction/projection is to provide better information on weather extremes. EUCP includes a major intercomparison of the new generation of convective permitting climate models, which have spatial detail similar to local weather forecast models. The result will be better understanding of these new models, plus a new dataset to look at impacts of extreme weather across Europe (WP3). Early progress has been to establish the experimental design and run most of the new simulations, ready for detailed analysis (objectives 1 and 3).
At the centre of EUCP is usability of climate information and relevance to real world decision making. WP4 has already established a set of use cases and will draw on the other work packages for climate information, demonstrating how the advances in climate prediction and projection can be used and tailoring the approaches through user co-development. This is extended to a wider set of users through WP6, which is setting up multi user forums (objectives 2, 3 and 4). EUCP aims to provide a legacy of new approaches and new datasets, with WP6 laying the groundwork of this with appropriate communication and data tools (objective 4).
The potential costs of under or over adaptation to climate change are considerable. Whilst many studies produce climate predictions or projections to help planning, EUCP is extracting more information from those projections and filling gaps where current projections does not yet exist. In the first reporting period it has made considerable progress towards this aim. This includes:
• Assembling the latest initialised predictions,
• Providing new information on the skill of predictions,
• Reviewing and comparing methods to better extract information from global and regional model projections,
• Producing new high-resolution projections.

EUCP is addressing the large differences in countries’ capabilities when it comes to synthesising climate prediction and projection information, which will remove the inequality and heterogeneity that underpin current differences in country-to-country adaptation capability and will ensure that European decision-makers will have access to consistent information. EUCP has made progress in creating the capability to produce actionable climate information and is starting to provide the information needed to stimulate a market for climate services

EUCP is providing an authoritative foundation of climate information that will support the building of a climate resilient economy and strengthen civil protection (objectives 1, 2, 3, 4). It will increase the credibility and usability of climate predictions, and characterisation of trends in regional climate extremes (objectives 1, 2, 3, 4). This is an important contribution towards enabling the EU to Implement the Sustainable Development goal SDG 13 “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”, as well as conclusions of the Paris Agreement (objectives 2, 3, 4).

As EUCP progresses the role of user co-development becomes increasingly important. In this first phase EUCP has focussed on the involvement of super users within targeted case studies. In the coming phase this will be extended to a wider multi user forum. This extension will provide a boost to the climate service market at European level for a variety of sectors (linked to top-level objectives 3, 4), bridging the gap between ‘top-down’ climate information provisions and ‘bottom-up’ end user requirements (objectives 2, 3, 4).
EUCP logo
EUCP schematic of information that will be available to users from the EUCP project