Climate Service 3: National and international climate services: user engagement and governance


Climate Service 3: National and international climate services: user engagement and governance
Including EMS Young Scientist Conference Award winner
Including EMS Technology Achievement Award Recipient
Co-organized by CS
Convener: Carlo Buontempo | Co-conveners: Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Freja Vamborg
Lightning talks
| Wed, 08 Sep, 14:00–15:30 (CEST)

Lightning talks: Wed, 8 Sep

Chairpersons: Carlo Buontempo, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Freja Vamborg
EMS Technology Achievement Award Recipient
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh

This is the EMS Technology Achievement Award Lecture 2021.
Information on the awardee at

How to cite: van Oldenborgh, G. J.: Experience gained from running the KNMI Climate Explorer (est. 1999), EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-507,, 2021.

Hans-Martin Füssel and Samuel Almond

The Copernicus Climate Change Service’s (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS) contains a wealth of information about the Earth's recent past, present and future climate. The CDS catalogue contains both general climate datasets, such as climate observations, seasonal forecasts, global and regional reanalyses and global and regional climate projections datasets, and in addition derived Climate Impact Indices (CII). CIIs are processed data which was developed to respond to specific sectoral needs. Most CII datasets were developed as part of the C3S Sectoral Information System (SIS) activities, which develops user-oriented products for various climate-sensitive sectors (e.g., water management, energy, biodiversity, human health and tourism).

The European Climate Data Explorer (ECDE) is a new web portal providing interactive access to selected climate variables and indices included in the CDS. It is hosted on the European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT), a publicly accessible web portal managed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with the European Commission. The ECDE aims to facilitate access to a wide range of data on observed and projected climate change in Europe. Such data are relevant, among others, for developing and implementing national and subnational climate adaptation strategies and plans, including sectoral strategies.

The variables and indices currently included in the ECDE reflect user needs expressed through an EEA-led stakeholder consultation as well as data availability from C3S-led SIS contracts. The interactive access allows users to zoom in on maps in order to focus on regions of interest, show time series for specific countries and subnational regions (to NUTS level 3), and export images and data. The ECDE will be expanded further in response to user needs and increasing data availability in the CDS. This expansion will include additional sectoral indices as well as new data sources (e.g. from CMIP6).

The ECDE is complemented by the online EEA Report Changing climate hazards in Europe and a Technical Paper. These products provide further information on the underlying indices and datasets. The report also presents past and projected trends for key climate hazards across Europe.

The ECDE lowers the technical hurdles that limit access to CDS data for a large part of EEA’s target audience. Doing so, the ECDE supports the European Green Deal, including the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, and the EU Mission on Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation.

How to cite: Füssel, H.-M. and Almond, S.: The European Climate Data Explorer - a new web portal providing interactive access to climate change information for Europe, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-116,, 2021.

Peter C. Kalverla, Stef Smeets, Niels Drost, Bouwe Andela, Fakhereh Alidoost, Jaro Camphuijsen, and Barbara Vreede

Scientific progress greatly benefits from the participation of a broad and diverse community. Increasing data volumes put pressure on this scientific ecosystem, limiting the participation in the scientific process to a select group of researchers with access to sufficient storage and compute resources. This is not new.

To level the playing field for all researchers, a shared infrastructure had to be developed. We know it today as the ESGF. The European contribution to ESGF has been coordinated mainly through the IS-ENES projects. The current infrastructure provides access to the data as well as compute resources. So far, so good.

The next bottleneck for a smooth scientific process is ease of use. A lot of progress has already been made on standardization of climate model output, so that it is easier to analyse and compare different models. Moreover, a broad range of tools is being developed to better facilitate the processing of large data volumes. The constraint then becomes the ability to navigate this new scientific landscape and to effectively wield the new tools we have at our disposal.

There is another factor that hampers scientific progress. The increasing complexity of climate analysis workflows makes it difficult to reproduce, reuse, and build upon previous results. Of course it does not help that the main scientific mode of exchange is through journal articles, which are not well suited for sharing workflows. Which brings us to sharing code.

Code, by its nature, documents a workflow and thereby helps reproducibility. Sharing code is only just starting to take off, as part of a broader development towards a more transparent and reproducible scientific process. Now, interestingly, it is not the scarcity of tools, but rather their abundance that can lead to diverging workflows and poor interoperability.

The Earth System Model eValuation Tool (ESMValTool) was originally developed as a command line tool for routine evaluation climate models. This tool encourages some degree of standardization by factoring out common operations, while allowing for custom analytics of the pre-processed data. All scripts are bundled with the tool. Over time this has grown into a library of so-called ‘recipes’.

Recently we have started developing a Python API for the ESMValTool. This allows for interactive exploration, modification, and execution of existing recipes, as well as the creation of new workflows. At the same time, partners in IS-ENES3 are making their infrastructure accessible through JupyterLab. Through the combination of these technologies, researchers have direct access to data and resources, and they can easily re-use existing analysis workflows, all through the comfort of the web browser. During the conference, we will give an overview of the current possibilities, and we would like to encourage the discussion on future developments that are needed for a fruitful scientific process.

How to cite: Kalverla, P. C., Smeets, S., Drost, N., Andela, B., Alidoost, F., Camphuijsen, J., and Vreede, B.: The evolution of shared infrastructure for climate analytics, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-338,, 2021.

Andreas Fischer, Angela Michiko Hama, and Mischa Croci-Maspoli

In response to the Global Framework for Climate Services’ (GFCS) call for the establishment of national coordination mechanisms, Switzerland founded its National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) in late 2015. The Centre is organized as a network of nine Federal Offices and Institutes as well as partners from academia. Based on a federally agreed national adaptation strategy and plan for action, the NCCS is organized in the sense of a nationwide network. All members are on a par and have an equal say. Attention is given to both pure climate information as well as downstream applications along the climate services value chain.

The NCCS pursues three main goals: 1) bundle the existing climate services of the Swiss Confederation, 2) foster dialogue among stakeholder communities, and 3) co-produce new tailored solutions. The co-creation and dissemination of climate services is vital for effective climate mitigation, adaptation and societal transformation. Thus, the NCCS supports policymakers from the national to local level as well as the private sector and society at large in minimizing their risks, maximizing opportunities and optimizing costs.

Since its foundation in 2015, several accomplishments have been made through the NCCS’ priority themes, such as the release of the Swiss climate scenarios (CH2018) in 2018 and hydrological scenarios (Hydro-CH2018) in 2021 as a downstream application. Other accomplishments include novel insights into climate-sensitive disaster risk reduction as well as the elaboration of a new hail climatology serving multiple stakeholders in the insurance sector. Moreover, the NCCS web portal has been online for more than two years, serving as a one stop-shop for the provision of tailored climate services, best practices and guidance.

This presentation will give an overview of the NCCS and its first milestones as well as discuss lessons learnt and current challenges. This also includes new perspectives from a new NCCS programme on cross-sectoral climate impacts and the development of respective decision-support tools to be launched in 2021.


How to cite: Fischer, A., Hama, A. M., and Croci-Maspoli, M.: The Swiss National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) – accomplishments and future perspectives, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-196,, 2021.

Rozemien De Troch and Piet Termonia

The Belgian expertise with respect to climate research is very fragmented and led by both federal (like the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, hereafter RMI) as well as regional scientific research institutions and universities. Furthermore, both in societal, research as well as policy context there is an increasing need for detailed, quantitative, reliable and consistent climate information and services, in particular linked to the expected climate changes and its impacts in different sectors (e.g. water, agriculture, energy, health, transport).

To make all this scientific expertise and climate information available in a coordinated and, above all, user-friendly way, a Belgian climate centre or a one-stop shop for climate research and services would fully address the needs. With its long-standing scientific expertise and service provision, RMI plays a crucial role in fulfilling this growing need for climate information and services.

Hence, RMI has elaborated a proposal on the creation of a Belgian climate centre. For the creation of such centre it is preferable to use existing collaborations from previous or ongoing research and service-provision activities in Belgium, requiring a structural cooperation in which each members’ expertise can be fully deployed. In the context of a previous research project, a large consortium of Belgian research institutions active in regional climate modelling, calculated for the first time a consistent set of high-resolution climate projections and sectoral impacts for Belgium. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that the number of models used was far too limited to develop reliable information of the future climate. Moreover, this was a one-time project and there is currently an urgent need to update the climate projections to meet the new scientific requirements of the IPCC's new sixth Assessment Report.

One of the activities of the centre would thus be the coordination of the climate research based on scientific research projects. Furthermore, in order to ensure the continuous development and provision of climate services based on this objective and scientifically based expertise coming from Belgian climate scientists, the climate centre would carry out two main core tasks: (i) the production and storage of climate information and (ii) the support for the development of climate services.

The financing and implementation of a Belgian climate centre, would provide a structural framework for climate research and services, establishing partnerships with the various regions and communities, at both policy and research levels. In this way, RMI, as national meteorological institute and at the start of the climate services value chain, can guarantee a continuous scientific expertise and respond to the major needs for climate information and services at national and international level.

How to cite: De Troch, R. and Termonia, P.: From climate information to climate services: the need for a Belgian climate service centre, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-34,, 2021.

The new high resolution climate projections dataset DRIAS-2020 over France
Jean-Michel Soubeyroux, Sebastien Bernus, Lola Corre, Viviane Gouget, Maryvonne Kerdoncuff, Samuel Somot, and Flore Tocquer
Tamara Hochstrasser, Caren Jarmain, Klara Finkele, Paul Murphy, Owen Fenton, Karl Richards, Eve Daly, Matthew Saunders, Thomas Cummins, Rebecca Whetton, and Fiachra O'Loughlin

The hydrologic cycle is currently being altered due to climate change and the potential impacts are diverse. Long-term monitoring of the components of this cycle will aid our understanding of these changes. Soil moisture is one of the components often neglected, with few long-term datasets available. It is an important variable, regulating the exchange of water and heat energy between the land surface and the atmosphere through evaporation and plant transpiration. Our understanding of soil moisture dynamics is often limited, and an expansion of the current monitoring network holds many benefits. Recently, a process was initiated to establish an effective Irish National Soil Moisture Monitoring Network. This network aims to be research question driven, consistent in its measurement approach and designed to be useful for ongoing research. Here we report on the consultation process that started in early 2020 within the Irish Agmet group, a working group on Agrometeorology. Specifically, we (1) provide background to the consultation process that showed widespread support for a long-term soil moisture monitoring network which led to funding applications to establish this network, (2) review initiatives underway to monitor soil moisture and other components of the hydrologic cycle and highlight the benefits of long-term widespread measurements to various initiatives and sectors, (3) suggest new and novel monitoring technologies that will be investigated and (4) provide an implementation strategy for what is anticipated to be an efficient and successful network. The paper should serve as a starting point to obtaining widespread support for a national hydro-climate monitoring network.

How to cite: Hochstrasser, T., Jarmain, C., Finkele, K., Murphy, P., Fenton, O., Richards, K., Daly, E., Saunders, M., Cummins, T., Whetton, R., and O'Loughlin, F.: Towards establishing an Irish National Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-273,, 2021.

EMS Young Scientist Conference Award winner
Francesca Larosa and Marta Bruno-Soares

Knowledge networks are collections of individuals and teams who work together across organizational, spatial and disciplinary boundaries to invent and share a body of knowledge. Climate services are tools and application that support decision-making by transforming raw climate data into tailored information. They call for co-development practices in place and for successful collaboration between different stakeholders. Knowledge networks for climate services are intermediaries that facilitate the interaction between upstream (providers) and downstream (user) actors operating at various scales (local, national, regional and supranational). They assist the decision-making process of a wide set of users by creating windows of opportunity and by delivering usable climate information. The aim of this work is to frame and assess the efficiency of knowledge networks for climate services in promoting innovation and facilitate its diffusion. First, we characterize knowledge networks learning from insights of a multidisciplinary literature. Second, we analyse the purpose, the process and the audience of each knowledge network for climate services by screening their programmatic documents. We then assess the efficiency of knowledge networks by performing content analysis of interviews with knowledge network managers and by checking for the existence of inconsistencies or gaps with the initial objectives. We find knowledge networks for climate services pursue four objectives: coordination, innovation promotion, science-policy interface and support to members. We also find inadequate tools to monitor the members activities, but a strong positioning within the climate services domain. On the communication side, knowledge networks for climate services mostly interact with developers of climate services but they face challenges in sharing the members’ activities with users. Our work fills a significant knowledge gap and helps providing new tools of performance assessment in absence of a clearly defined methodology. The identification of bottlenecks and under-performing mechanisms in the climate information services sphere allows the elaboration of strategies to improve the status quo and facilitates the diffusion of these innovations.

How to cite: Larosa, F. and Bruno-Soares, M.: The role of knowledge networks in facilitating the creation of climate information services, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-11,, 2021.

Neha Mittal, Marta Bruno Soares, Mathias Venning, and Scott Bremer

A plethora of programmes and projects focus on strengthening climate services in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA); a region of great economic importance in a changing Africa. However, knowledge of how key elements of climate services development and implementation at different stages of the process are addressed in these initiatives is very limited. To overcome this gap, we pursued a systematic review of existing literature under the auspices of the H2020 CONFER project. We scope the academic and grey literature by focusing on initiatives that empirically demonstrate the value added at different stages of climate service development and implementation such as data generation, post-processing, tailoring, and re-packaging of information for communication. Our analysis takes stock of the evolution of climate services in GHA and provides a synoptic overview of the current landscape of climate services at seasonal and sub-seasonal time scales, and across sectors and geographical scales in the region. It highlights the current emphasis on the deployment of climate services in specific countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, while a strong thematic focus on services tailored for the agriculture sector. Our analysis also shows that while there is an increasing effort in tailoring and effectively communicating climate services through greater knowledge co-production, aspects such as accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy of climate services information remain key barriers to the uptake and use of such services. Finally, we identify opportunities for further improvement to the underlying processes of climate services development and implementation as well as future research and policy directions in this region of global importance.

How to cite: Mittal, N., Bruno Soares, M., Venning, M., and Bremer, S.: Mapping the development and implementation of climate services in the Greater Horn of Africa, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-467,, 2021.


Supporters & sponsors