Visit by German State Secretary

22 June 2007

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Mr. Jörg Hennerkes, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, visited the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on 22 June 2007, accompanied by Mr. Karl Trauernicht, Head of the Meteorological Service Section at the Ministry, and Mr. Friedhelm Bertelsmeier, First Secretary Transport at the German Embassy London.

Senior management of ECMWF gave an overview of the Centre's main research and operational activities, particularly emphasising the accuracy of ECMWF's forecast products allowing early warning of severe weather events, and highlighting the intense use of satellite data and the Centre's supercomputing expertise.

With regard to the role the organisation plays for climate and environmental monitoring, Dominique Marbouty, the Director of ECMWF, drew the State Secretary's attention to an EU-funded project called GEMS, co-ordinated by ECMWF, aiming at building a global assimilation/forecasting system for greenhouse gases, reactive gases, and aerosols. Furthermore, he emphasised the role that ECMWF's re-analysis ERA-40, another EU-funded project co-ordinated by ECMWF, played in the context of the final report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Mr. Hennerkes was impressed by the high quality of ECMWF's output. Being responsible for the German National Meteorological Service, he said: "I would like to encourage the Director and the staff to continue the excellent services ECMWF provides to the Member States and Co-operating States, complementing the activities of the National Meteorological Services. I am pleased to assure ECMWF of Germany's full support to continue its valuable work."