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Observations and scenarios

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For the assessment of climate change and its impacts, both observations of past and present conditions, and scenarios for future developments are required. This section provides access to information on observations and scenarios for the atmosphere, the cryosphere, water systems, oceans and coasts, the terrestrial biosphere and urban areas and health.

The extent to which the climate will change depends on the future development of society and economies. These changes are captured in different socio-economic and climate scenarios.

Socio-economic scenarios provide plausible descriptions of possible future states of the world based on the choices made by society – they are not predictions. Combining socio-economic scenarios and scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions with global climate models, provides projections of future climate change at a global scale. These projections can be downscaled, using regional climate models or statistical downscaling techniques, to calculate more detailed climate projections for Europe.

The Global Framework for Climate Service enables better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale. In Europe the Copernicus climate change service will give access to information for monitoring and predicting climate change and will, therefore, help to support adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore in many countries climate (change) services are being developed and implemented, see the country pages.

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