Climate Services

The new EU Adaptation Strategy highlights the role of climate services for climate change adaptation. Climate services help to understand current and future climate change and related impacts on different policy sectors across Europe by means of user-oriented products.

A climate service is the provision of climate information to help end-users make climate smart decisions. The climate information can range from seasonal forecasts (e.g., forest fire outlooks) to long-term projections (e.g., sea-level rise). It can be combined with other sectoral information (e.g., population distribution, crop distribution, coastal protection) that is relevant for assessing exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards. Climate services may include weather services, which focus on short-term forecasts (e.g., hazardous weather conditions).

Climate services must be based on scientifically credible information and expertise, must address user needs, and may be co-designed by end-users and providers to enable uptake. They can address a wide audience or be tailored to specific sectors or user groups.

The text below highlights three European climate services provided by the Copernicus programme. It also provides complementary information regarding European early warning systems, national climate services and international frameworks for coordination of and research on climate services.

The Early warning systems for climate-related risks to health and wellbeing section of the European Climate and Health Observatory, includes information on detection, analysis, prediction, and then warning dissemination followed by response decision-making and implementation. It presents the considerable European experience with early warning systems, especially for flood and flash-flood risk, storms, forest fires, heatwaves, and droughts.

 

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) aims to support European climate policies and actions, contributing to building a European society with more resilience against human-induced changing climate.

Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. It consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from multiple sources: earth observation satellites and in situ sensors, such as ground stations, airborne and sea borne sensors. Copernicus processes these data and provides users with information through a set of services that address six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security.

C3S provides information on climate change and on impacts for many sectors through the Climate Data Store, which includes

  • Essential Climate Variables (ECVs),
  • climate observations,
  • climate reanalyses,
  • climate projections,
  • climate impact indicators.

C3S users include scientists, consultants, planners and policy makers, the media and the public. All C3S data and tools are provided free of charge.

 

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to greenhouse gases, solar energy, and climate forcing, in Europe and in the rest of the world.

CAMS provides daily analyses and forecasts in the following thematic output areas to its users:

CAMS supports policymakers on national, regional and local levels with a set of tools and reports that describe air quality in Europe and its evolution over the years. The following tools and reports are available:

  • The CAMS Air Control Toolbox (ACT) – providing short-term forecasts of European air quality for different emission reduction strategies.
  • Daily Forecasts – helping users understand how much air pollution can be attributed to local urban sources and how much is imported through long-range transport.
  • Assessment reports – providing Validated Annual Assessment Reports and Interim Assessment Reports on past air pollution levels and episodes to support national reporting of air quality and threshold exceedances.

Use cases demonstrate how CAMS data and services support adaptation to atmospheric conditions. These use cases include high resolution insights into air quality problems (AIR-Portal), a decision support system for the development of rooftop photovoltaic power generation (Mon Toit Solaire), an air quality toolbox targeted at policy support (ATMOSYS-CAMS), and easy access air quality forecasts (Windy).

Information specifically targeted to the health sector is described here.

CAMS also runs a range of policy workshops for in depth two-way engagement with users.

 

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) provides information on several climate-related hazards, including floods, droughts and wildfires, for emergency response and disaster risk management.

CEMS supports all actors involved in the management of natural or manmade disasters by providing geospatial data and images for informed decision making. CEMS constantly monitors Europe and the globe for signals of an impending disaster or evidence of one happening in real time. CEMS products can examine changes to an area of Earth over a series of days, weeks, months, or years.

CEMS Early Warning and Monitoring offers critical geospatial information at European and global levels through continuous observations and forecasts for floods, droughts, and forest fires.

  • The European Flood Awareness Systems (EFAS) and Global Flood Awareness Systems (GloFAS) provide complementary flood forecast information to relevant stakeholders that support flood risk management at the national, regional and global levels.
  • The Drought Observatory (DO) provides drought-relevant information and early warnings for Europe (European Drought Observatory - EDO) and globally (GDO). The service publishes short analytical reports (Drought News) in anticipation of an imminent drought.
  • The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) monitors forest fire activity in near-real time. EFFIS supports wildfire management at the national and regional level for Europe and across the Middle East and North Africa.

CEMS On Demand Mapping provides on-demand detailed information for selected emergency situations that arise from natural or man-made disasters anywhere in the world: Rapid Mapping and Risk and Recovery Mapping, which supplies geospatial information in support of Disaster Management activities including prevention, preparedness, risk reduction and recovery phases.

 

 

Further resources related to climate services

The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) enables better management of the risks of climate variability and 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.

The CORDIS Climate Services results pack (How climate services can help decision taking in a changing climate: Stories from Horizon 2020 projects) gives a comprehensive overview (in several languages) of most project results. This CORDIS Results Pack focuses on 10 EU-funded projects that have developed vital tools and expertise to help mitigate the impacts of a changing climate through the application of climate services.

The European Research Area for Climate Services (ERA4CS) under the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) has coordinated research funding on climate services by many national funding bodies with co-funding from the European Commission. Further information is available from this Overview of ERA4CS-funded projects.

The coordination and support action Climateurope provides a comprehensive overview of activities in the field of Climate Services. Climateurope ended in January 2021 and had four primary objectives: (1) develop a Europe-wide framework for Earth-system modelling and climate service activities; (2) coordinate and integrate on-going and future European climate modelling, climate observations and climate service infrastructure initiatives; (3) establish multi-disciplinary expert groups to assess the state-of-the-art in Earth-system modelling and climate services in Europe, and identify existing gaps, new challenges and emerging needs; (4) enhance communication and dissemination activities with stakeholders.

EUROPEAN CLIMATE DATA EXPLORER

 

C3S and EEA have jointly developed the European Climate Data Explorer (hosted on Climate-ADAPT), which provides interactive access to a growing number of climate variables and climate impact indicators from the C3S Climate Data Store.

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