ECLAT_1_2,Enhancing the use of Climate Data

Project Title:    European Climate Projects Support Environment: Network for the Co-ordinated Provision of Scientific and Technical Advice for Applying Climate Data in European Climate Change Research Projects

Short Title:      ECLAT-2

Co-ordinators:    Dr. David Viner and Dr. Mike Hulme

      Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Start Date:       01-09-97

1. Objectives

The overall objectives of the ECLAT-2 Project are:

o Enhancing the use of climate data (observed and modelled) within the EU Climate and Environment Programme.

o Ensuring that climate data is used in a consistent and efficient manner across all sectors within the EU Climate and Environment Programme.

o The development and establishment of a Support Environment that will provide scientific and technical advice to accompany the climate data.

o Provision of advice to the EU about future research activities that are required.

The proposed ECLAT-2 project will provide a beneficial enhancement to the current and proposed projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme as well as being complimentary and supportive of other major international activities, such as the IPCC.

2. Work Content

2.1 Background

The ECLAT-1 Project (ENV4-CT95-0128) has established a network which is providing a dedicated and unique focal point for the exchange of information regarding the observed and scenario climate data issues that effect the component projects of the EU Climate and Environment Programme. The ECLAT-1 Project is due to finish in June 1997. The ECLAT-1 Project established an organised network which has provided a platform for the exchange of information regarding the issues that surround the construction and application of climate datasets for use in climate change impacts projects. The ECLAT-1 Network, coupled to the ECLAT-1 Workshop (October 1996) which brought together representatives of the climate modelling and climate change impacts communities, represented a key step forward in the efficiency with which climate data and associated information may be used by these two communities within Europe.  The ECLAT-1 Workshop produced the following recommendations and conclusions:

(i) Focused interchange of information and ideas between the climate modelling and climate change impacts communities within the EU is necessary for the efficient exploitation of EuropeÕs climate change modelling expertise. The ECLAT-1 Workshop provided one example of such interchange.

(ii) There is a need for the research community to have easier access to high quality observed climate datasets. These include high-resolution gridded climatologies and observed station data at both monthly and daily time-steps.

(iii) There is a broad requirement by the European climate change impacts community for a focal point and network (real or virtual) that can provide:

o Scientific and technical advice to the impacts community that will help to promote the consist_ENºG_”_*x”_*x____

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Project Title:    European Climate Projects Support Environment: Network for the Co-ordinated Provision of Scientific and Technical Advice for Applying Climate Data in European Climate Change Research Projects

Short Title:      ECLAT-2

Co-ordinators:    Dr. David Viner and Dr. Mike Hulme

      Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Start Date:       01-09-97

1. Objectives

The overall objectives of the ECLAT-2 Project are:

o Enhancing the use of climate data (observed and modelled) within the EU Climate and Environment Programme.

o Ensuring that climate data is used in a consistent and efficient manner across all sectors within the EU Climate and Environment Programme.

o The development and establishment of a Support Environment that will provide scientific and technical advice to accompany the climate data.

o Provision of advice to the EU about future research activities that are required.

The proposed ECLAT-2 project will provide a beneficial enhancement to the current and proposed projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme as well as being complimentary and supportive of other major international activities, such as the IPCC.

2. Work Content

2.1 Background

The ECLAT-1 Project (ENV4-CT95-0128) has established a network which is providing a dedicated and unique focal point for the exchange of information regarding the observed and scenario climate data issues that effect the component projects of the EU Climate and Environment Programme. The ECLAT-1 Project is due to finish in June 1997. The ECLAT-1 Project established an organised network which has provided a platform for the exchange of information regarding the issues that surround the construction and application of climate datasets for use in climate change impacts projects. The ECLAT-1 Network, coupled to the ECLAT-1 Workshop (October 1996) which brought together representatives of the climate modelling and climate change impacts communities, represented a key step forward in the efficiency with which climate data and associated information may be used by these two communities within Europe.  The ECLAT-1 Workshop produced the following recommendations and conclusions:

(i) Focused interchange of information and ideas between the climate modelling and climate change impacts communities within the EU is necessary for the efficient exploitation of EuropeÕs climate change modelling expertise. The ECLAT-1 Workshop provided one example of such interchange.

(ii) There is a need for the research community to have easier access to high quality observed climate datasets. These include high-resolution gridded climatologies and observed station data at both monthly and daily time-steps.

(iii) There is a broad requirement by the European climate change impacts community for a focal point and network (real or virtual) that can provide:

o Scientific and technical advice to the impacts community that will help to promote the consistent use of observed and scenario climate datasets;

o Documentation of relevant climate change experiments and observed climate data and guidance regarding which are most appropriate for use in impacts assessments;

o Guidelines for the development and application of climate change scenarios;

o Provide a framework for sensitivity and risk analysis based upon a Òbottom-upÓ approach to vulnerability assessments (i.e., define critical change and then search for that change within a range of climate change scenarios);

(iv) Climate change impacts research within the European Union should be orientated to answer policy relevant questions, e.g.

o What mitigation and adaptation strategies to be adopted?

o Stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations at what concentration?

o What are the mechanisms available for European impacts research to influence European climate policy?

(v) A process to assimilate European sectoral impacts assessments into a coherent report on the impacts of climate change in the European Union should be implemented in time for COP 3 (December 1997) and the Third IPCC Assessment (c. 2000).

(vi) In order to improve the regionalisation of climate change impacts there is a need for a dedicated research project that can intercompare the various downscaling methods (empirical, semi-empirical and dynamic) that are available to construct high resolution (spatial and/or temporal) climate change scenarios for impacts assessments.

_

Figure 1. The mechanisms currently available for the dissemination of climate data.

It is proposed that the current ECLAT-1 Concerted Action Initiative be extended for a further three years (to cover the duration of the current and proposed Framework IV projects to the year 2000) in accord with the recommendations and conclusions of the ECLAT-1 Workshop. There are three key areas which will be addressed by the ECLAT-2 Project:

o The maintenance, development and extension of the existing ECLAT-1 Network, which will facilitate the exchange of information betrween the component projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme;

o The organisation of a series of Strategic and Technical Workshops that will address issues that are of concern to the ECLATÊCommunity, some of which were raised in the ECLAT-1 Workshop;

o The development of a Support Environment that will provide a flow of scientific and technical information between the climate modelling and climate change impacts projects within the ECLATÊcommunity so as to help ensure the correct and consistent use of climate data within climate change impacts assessments.

2.1 The ECLAT-2  Network

The ECLAT Network, already established under ECLAT-1, will continue during the lifetime of ECLAT-2.  This will be organised by Partner A and will continue to provide an electronic medium, via the world-wide-web and e-mail, for the exchange of information about observed and scenario climate data, together with reports constructed from the ECLAT-2 Strategic and Technical Workshops.

As with ECLAT-1, the ECLAT-2 network will consist of representatives from the component projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme as well as representatives (within Europe) from other associated international activities.

2.2 The ECLAT-2ÊStrategic and Technical Workshops

The ECLAT-1 Workshop held in October 1996 can be viewed as a success given that it brought together scientists from both climate modelling and impacts communities and scientists from different backgrounds within the impacts community.  The Workshop, however, also  provided a unique platform within the EU Framework IV Programme for the discussion of a range of issues surrounding the construction and use of climate scenarios that are common to the component disciplines.  It is envisaged that two  Strategic ECLAT-2 Workshops be held to mark progress in addressing the issues raised above.  These workshops would be composed of representatives from the entire ECLAT Community and would have strong links into the Framework IV research projects.

Along with these Strategic Workshops, there will also be a series of smaller Technical Task Group Workshops each of which would focus upon a specific technical issue.  The proposed ECLAT-2 Steering Committee would take charge of identifying and organising these workshops.  For example, these topics might include the following:

o A comparison of the dynamical (Regional Climate Modelling) and empirical downscaling techniques that are available for scenario construction.

o The nature of climate change experiments which are relevant for impacts assessments and which might be undertaken by the climate modelling centres.

o The construction and characteristics of  climate change scenarios that can be used in impacts assessments.

o Using simple climate models in conjunction with GCM experiments.

o Guidelines on the application of climate change scenarios to impacts assessments.

o An evaluation and the provision of information regarding the uncertainties that that surround climate change scenarios.

From each of these Technical Workshops the designated Task Group would (under the guidance of the Steering Committee) report back to the ECLAT-2 Community at the Strategic Workshops and via the ECLAT-2 Network and to DGXII andthe wider research community through published reports.

_

Figure 2 The conceptual structure of the ECLAT-2 Support Environment.

2.3 The ECLAT-2ÊSupport Environment (ECLAT-2 SE)

One of these issues highlights the shortfalls that exist at present in the way in which climate data are used within the EU climate change research community and the way in which the results of the climate change modelling experiments are disseminated to impacts projects.  The mechanisms for obtaining scenario climate data within Europe at present fall into three broad categories:

o down-loading a selected set of results on  an anonymous ftp site;  this provides unrestricted, but non-supported and non-controlled, access to modelling results.

o approaching an organised and staffed interface which provides observed and scenario climate data in a consistent manner accompanied by user-oriented scientific and technical advice.

o by making a direct approach to an individual within a given modelling centre.

Figure 1 illustrates schematically the operation of these existing mechanisms.  Each of these mechanisms has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is not proposed that one single mechanism be implemented by one centralised dissemination node. Rather, to ensure that the results  from the various climate change experiments are used effectively and consistently within the framework of the EU Climate and Environment Programme, it is proposed that the ECLAT-1 Network should be enhanced to include a Support Environment (ECLAT-2 SE).

The ECLAT-2 SE will form an important component of the ECLAT-2 Project activities and is schematically illustrated in Figure 2.  The ECLAT-2 SE will be designed to facilitate the transfer of scientific and technical advice between the climate modelling and climate impacts projects so as to allow for an efficient use of the results from the climate change experiments.  The flow of climate model data will still be governed by the mechanism each modelling centre has established, whereas the provision of consistent information and advice channelled through the ECLAT-2 SE will help promote the efficient use of these results in impacts work.

3. Project Milestones and Deliverables

Figure 3. Project timetable, workshops and report schedules

The workplan (Figure 3) involves the establishment and maintenance of the Support Environment and the series of Strategic and Technical Workshops that will be held within this environment. This timetable will be tuned coincide with the activities of other major international activities in this field (e.g. the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

4. Benefits

It is the overall aim of the ECLAT-2 Project to ensure that climate data is used in a more consistent manner within the EUÊClimate and Environment ProgrammeÕs research projects. The continued development and extension of the network that has been established by the ECLAT-1 Project will maintain the improved co-ordination and communication that is starting to develop under ECLAT-1. The increased consistency of the construction and use of climate data will help to enable a more effective use and interpretation of the results from the component climate change research projects that are underway and planned within the EU. This will also have a beneficial input into the international climate change activities as represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where a requirement for such a wide-ranging evaluation for the Third Assessment Report has already been recognised. The ECLAT-2 Network will allow for continuous liaison between the EU Environment and Climate Programme impacts projects and those scientists involved in climate change scenario construction and climate modelling thus ensuring the efficient and effective use of results from the GCM climate change experiments performed at the four climate modelling centres in Europe.

The Workshop series will bring together scientists from a spectrum of environmental disciplines to discuss climate change data issues which are common amongst them exist. Reports from the Technical Workshops will feed into the Strategic Workshops providing the relevant information to the wider ECLAT-2 community. The overall aims of the Strategic Workshops will be  to provide information to the wider international climate change research community, policy makers and to help formulate the future research plans of DGXII.

5. Economic and Social Impacts

Within the EU there are four major climate modelling centres (each of these will be represented within the ECLAT-2 Steering Committee). These centres perform climate change experiments using sophisticated computer based models of the ocean and atmosphere systems. In order to make efficient, consistent and standard use of these results from these experiments it is essential that the user community (as represented by the climate change impacts community) be fully informed about the availability of datasets (both modelled and observed). The workshop series and ECLAT-2 Network will develop further the framework that has been established by the ECLAT-1 Project for the efficient communication of construction methods, standards and applications for impacts assessments. This communication will enable a more efficient and effective comparison of the results from the EU impacts assessment projects. Such integrated impacts assessments are an essential component of the research necessary to identify how climate change will alter the environment and economy of Europe and what climate policy initiatives should be pursued by the EU.

6. Project Management and Structure

The management of the ECLAT-2 Project will be co-ordinated at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). CRU will provide the focal point for the organisation of the workshops, co-ordinate and develop ECLAT-2 SE, and produce the relevant reports. A Steering Committee (ECLAT-2 SC) comprising representatives from the four climate modelling centres and the impacts community (these are the project partners) will provide guidance to this management team. The Climatic Research Unit who will provide the primary contact point of the ECLAT-2 SE.

ECLAT-2 SC will guide the activities of the Project.  It will be the role of the ECLAT-2 SC to guide the ECLAT-2 Project Co-ordinators to design the Technical Workshops, although these will be organised locally by members of ECLAT-2 SC. 

7. The Partnership

7.1 The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) – Partner A

The CRU was established in 1972. It is one of the worldÕs leading research groups specialising in the study and analysis of climatology. The CRU has over 25 research scientists and several PhD students. reputation is based upon its research in the reconstruction of past climate from historical and proxy sources; the compilation and construction of global climate data sets; characterising the variability of past and present climate and understanding its causes; on the detection of climate change; assessment and validation of GCM experiments; and the construction of development of methods for climate change scenarios. The Unit also houses the UK Department of the Environment’s Climate Impacts LINK Project which acts as an interface between the Hadley Centre and international climate change research community, and as such possesses the most extensive on-line archive of GCM experimental results (in excess of 150GBs)Êfor impacts research within the Europe.

Dr. David Viner is a Senior Research Associate in the CRU. He is a research scientist specialising in: climate change scenario construction; the development of climate data bases; co-ordination and dissemination of climate data sets; and climate change impacts assessment studies. David is currently managing the EU Concerted Action Initiative known as the ECLAT-1 Project (ENV4-CT95-0128). This has established a unique and innovative network for the dissemination of information regarding the use of climate data awithin the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme.

He is also  responsible for managing the UK Department of the Environment’s Climate Impacts LINK Project which acts as the interface between the Hadley Centre and global climate change research community. Through the Climate Impacts LINK project, he has organised a number of international workshops and symposia relating to climate change scenario construction and their application. He has been commissioned by the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit to provide climate change scenarios for the Second Assessment Report, and has undertaken funded research for the UK Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service and the European Climate Computing Network.

Dr. Mike Hulme is a Senior Research Associate in the CRU. He is a research climatologist specialising in: global climate change; climate datasets and the validation of climate models; the development of integrated models to evaluate climate-related policy; and African climate and desertification. He has published extensively in all these fields. he has been responsible for managing multi-institutional research projects funded by the UK Department of the Environment, the Commission of the European Union and WWF International. He has contributed to the 1995 IPCC  reports of Working Groups I, II, and III. Consultancy work has been undertaken for the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, the Overseas Development Agency, the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Mott McDonald Ltd. and the Club du Sahel.

7.2 The Danish Met. Institute – Partner B

7.3 Agricultural Research Centre of Finland (MTT), Dr. Tim Carter – Partner C

Role and contribution

MTT will contribute to this Concerted Action in three ways:

(1) Offering guidance on the requirements of the impacts community, especially in the areas of agriculture and natural resource management, for climate change and related projections.

(2) Participating in a review of climate change projections over Europe for use both in impact assessment and policy formulation.

(3) Hosting a Workshop of climate modellers, scenario developers and impact analysts to define a common set of projection ranges for changes in climate in different regions of Europe.

Qualifications and experience

The Institute of Crop Science is part of the Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, a leading state research institute functioning under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The impacts of climate change on crop production have been investigated in the Institute of Crop Science since the mid-1980s. From 1990-1995, an intensive research programme of experimentation and modelling was undertaken as part of the Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (SILMU). This work, which was published in a special journal issue (Carter, 1996), continues as part of an EC-funded project on Climate Change and Agriculture in Europe (CLIVARA).

Dr. Timothy Carter is the senior scientist directing the Finnish component of CLIVARA. He has 16 years of experience in the field of climate change impact assessment: in a global project (at IIASA, Austria), four EC-funded projects, and national projects in the UK and Finland on climate change and agriculture. He was also responsible for developing the climate change scenarios for Finland employed in SILMU in co-operation with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, where he has his office (Carter et al., 1993; Carter et al., 1996). In addition he was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on methods of climate change impact and adaptation assessment (Carter et al., 1994) and is currently serving in the IPCC Task Group on Regional Climate Projections. In 1993 he was a co-recipient of the WMO Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award for a paper on the effects of climate change on agroclimatic potential in Europe (Carter et al., 1991).

References

Carter, T.R., Parry, M.L. and Porter, J.H. 1991. Climatic change and future agroclimatic potential in Europe. Int. J. Climatol. 11: 251-269.

Carter, T. Holopainen, E. and Kanninen, M. 1993. (eds). Techniques for developing regional climatic scenarios for Finland. Publications of the Academy of Finland 2/93, Helsinki, 63 pp.

Carter, T.R., Parry, M.L., Harasawa, H. and Nishioka, S. 1994. IPCC Technical Guidelines for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Department of Geography, University College London, UK and Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan, 59 pp.

Carter, T.R. 1996. (ed.). Global climate change and agriculture in the North. Special Issue: Agricultural and Food Science in Finland 5(3): 221-385.

Carter, T.R., Posch, M. and Tuomenvirta, H. 1996. The SILMU scenarios: specifying Finland’s future climate for use in impact assessment. Geophysica 32 (in press).

7.4 Laboratoire Meteorologie Dynamique, Prof. Katia Laval – Partner D

7.5 Meteo-France, Dr. Serge Planton – Partner E

7.6 University of Lisbon, Prof Joao Corte-Real – Partner F

7.7 KNMI, Dr. Jules Beersma – Partner G

7.8 DKRZ, Dr. Ulrich Cubasch – Partner H

7.9 European Climate Support Network, Dr. Bartolome Orfilia – Partner I

7.10 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Studies, Dr. Gerd Buerger – Partner J

7.11University of Southampton, Dr. Nigel Arnell – Partner K

7.13 CNES, Jean-Louis Fellous – Partner L

7.12 Hadley Centre, Dr. Geoff Jenkins – Partner M

8. Financial Information

9. Exploitation Plans

The ECLAT-2ÊSE will be self-exploiting within the framework of EUÊfunded climate change research. The co-ordinated focal point and interface provided by the Climatic Research Unit coupled with the strategic direction provided by the Steering Committee will allow for the effective dissemination of scientific and technical advice between the component projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme. This will greatly enhance the communication between the climate modellers and impacts researchers within Europe that was established by the ECLAT-1 Project and enhance the quality and consistency of the climate data that is used within the component projects of the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme.

10. Ongoing Projects and Previous Proposals

This proposal has not been submitted elsewhere for support. It is designed to complement, develop and extend the activities of the ECLAT-1 Project which will come to an end during the Summer of 1997. The ECLAT-2ÊSupport Environment, however, has been designed to utilise and draw together the relevant expertise and complement and facilitate research undertaken by projects that have and are being supported by the EU and the numerous international climate change research programmesand activities that are in place. Figure 4 lists the current climate modelling projects that are of relevance to the ECLAT-2ÊProject. The ECLAT-1 Project developed a core network of over 30 climate change impacts projects, the majority of which were represented at the ECLAT-1 Workshop. The ECLAT-2 Project will encompass all the relevant projects that are currently funded_ within the EUÊClimate and Environment Programme as well as a number outside (e.g The European Climate Support Network).

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