Better long-term forecast systems for the increasingly extreme weather

Tuesday 10 Jan 17
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by Line Reeh

Contact

Mark Payne
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 22

DTU Aqua is part of the ‘blue-action’-project aiming to help communities and businesses cope with the impacts of dramatic Arctic climate changes

While the Arctic faces rapid warming and less sea ice currently covers the Arctic Ocean than ever before at this time of the year, an international partnership launches a major project to improve our detailed understanding of the processes and impacts of this changing climate and to construct better long-term forecast systems for the increasingly extreme weather of the Arctic and the wider northern hemisphere.

Pooling their expertise, skills, approaches and networks, the partners aim to improve how we describe, model and predict the weather and climate on seasonal to decadal time scales in the Arctic and over the northern hemisphere. This information will allow communities and businesses in Eurasia and North America to develop and plan their activities better.

Pioneering a market for climate information

DTU Aqua is an integral part of the project and Senior Researcher Mark Payne, DTU Aqua leads a work package in the project on developing and estimating the value of so-called "Climate Services". These services are new products oriented towards society where forecasts produced by climate models are translated into a form and format that can be taken up by end-users.

"By doing this work we will be able to improve the effectiveness, security and profitability of european businesses and society and pioneer a market for climate information"
Mark Payne

Blue action has five such case studies covering topics as diverse as heatwave-related deaths, risks associated with polar storms, impacts of oil and gas exploitation in the arctic, snow conditions for the coming skiing season, and forecasts for marine fisheries. In each of these cases, scientists from Blue action will work closely with end-users to first develop these products, to demonstrate and quantify their value to the end-user and to distribute this knowledge further for uptake in the rest of the relevant sector.

Senior Researcher Mark Payne, DTU Aqua says:
"Blue Action represents a unique opportunity to take the vast volumes of data produced by climate models and to translate them into a form that is useful to the rest of society. We hope that by doing this work we will be able to improve the effectiveness, security and profitability of european businesses and society and pioneer a market for climate information".

Working with local communities and businesses

Blue-Action is a four-year research and innovations project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme with € 7.5 million investment. It brings together 116 experts from 40 organisations in 17 countries on three continents working in academia, local authorities and maritime industries.

"Working directly with local communities, businesses operating in the Arctic and industrial organisations Blue-Action will demonstrate new opportunities for growth through tailored climate services. These will give users the information they need to live and work safely and successfully in the rapidly changing regions in and surrounding the Arctic",  says project coordinator Dr Steffen M Olsen from the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.

The project group began its work on December 2016. A Blue-Action kick-off meeting will be held 18-20 January 2017 at the Max Planck Society's Harnack-Haus in Berlin.

Photo caption: To thrive in the rapidly changing Arctic environment people - like polar bears - have to adapt swiftly. The new Blue-Action project will help empower Arctic communities and businesses to make informed choices through better forecast systems. Photo copyright: Dirk Notz, Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology.

40 organisations working together

The Blue-Action consortium consists of 40 organisations from within the EU (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and UK) and other Arctic and maritime nations such as Canada and the USA, Russia, China and South Korea, and Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 727852. www.blue-action.eu