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Exeter hosts international climate science conference

The end of a four-year long, cutting edge project linking scientific research with societies needs is marked with a major conference

The International Conference on Climate Science and Climate Services is being hosted this week by the Met Office.

Amid concerns that global societies are becoming more vulnerable to changes in our climate, the European Climate Observations, Modelling and Services (ECOMS) initiative was formed in June 2012. The social benefits of access to the best climate science and services can be profound and the aim has been to ensure a close coordination and cooperation across major European climate service projects.

ECOMS has acted as an advisory group/think tank to identify priorities in research and investment needs in the field of climate modelling and services. ECOMS has also organised this major conference for 200 delegates, speakers and panellists from worldwide leading research intuitions, international organisations, the European Commission, Intergovernment Panel in Climate Change and World Climate Research Programme.

There have been three major ECOMS projects which will all finish in the coming months: EUPORIAS (European Provision Of Regional Impacts Assessments on Seasonal and Decadal Timescales), SPECS and NACLIM. EUPORIAS is led by the Met Office and is advancing the field of climate services by developing usable and actionable climate information, involving users across different industry sectors, in order to make better decisions in forming resilience to climate variability and longer-term climate change.

SPECS is led by the Barcelona Supercomputer Center which is delivering a new generation of climate prediction systems for seasonal-to-decadal time scales as well as providing actionable climate information for a wide range of users. Improved understanding offers better estimates of the future frequency of high-impact, extreme events and of uncertainty in climate predictions. The Met Office is a major participant in SPECS.

The third project, NACLIM led by the University of Hamburg, is assessing the quality of climate forecasts using observational and model data, by optimising the North Atlantic observational system. Global climate variability is to a large extent triggered by changes in the North Atlantic sea surface state. Knowledge of these factors is of paramount importance for society and key economic sectors, which have to base their planning and decisions on robust climate information, NACLIM contributes to this goal.

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