[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 7-Nov-2012
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Contact: Chiara Bearzotti
chiara.bearzotti@zmaw.de
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)

Better climate predictions for Europe

A new initiative to improve Europe's ability to effectively prepare for and manage climate-related risk on our society was launched in Barcelona

A European initiative for climate service observation and modelling (short ECOMS), funded by the European Commission, will exploit recent advances in our understanding and ability to forecast climate variability and change. It will also work with stakeholders to identify opportunities to develop new and improved tools to extract useful and useable information tailored to the needs of specific sectors (e.g. Energy, health, water resources, food security, forestry, transport, etc.)

Monthly-to-decadal forecasts now hold the potential to be of great value to a wide range of relevant decision making, wherever the outcomes are heavily influenced by climate variability. Despite its potential value in informing European business and adaptation strategy, such forecast information is currently under-exploited.

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.

Chris Hewitt, ECOMS chair said: "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 individual international projects focusing on different stages in providing useful guidance to end-users. These are:

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