A European initiative for climate service observation and modelling, ECOMS, will exploit recent advances in our understanding and ability to forecast climate variability and change.
Funded by the European Commission, the multi-million euro initiative will also work with stakeholders to identify opportunities to develop new and improved tools to extract useful and usable information tailored to the needs of specific sectors (e.g. energy, health, water resources, food security, forestry, and transport).
Monthly-to-decadal forecasts now have the potential to be of great value to decision making, where decisions are heavily influenced by climate variability. Despite this potential, such forecast information is currently under-exploited in informing European business and adaptation strategies.
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.
According to Chris Hewitt, ECOMS chair, “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 international projects: NACLIM (North Atlantic Climate), led by the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Hamburg, will focus on improving our understanding of the predictability of the climate in the North Atlantic/European sector through oceanic observations and the assessment of decadal climate forecasts; SPECS (Seasonal-to-decadal climate Prediction for the improvement of European Climate Services), led by Spain’s Institut Català de Ciències del Clima, 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; and EUPORIAS (European Provision of Regional Impacts Assessments on Seasonal and Decadal Timescales), led by the UK Met Office, will work on maximising the usefulness of seasonal-to-decadal climate information through close collaboration with the end users and the development of tools, techniques and prototype climate services