2nd ECMWF Climate Change Service Workshop, 25-26 June 2014

Following the first workshop on Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS) held at ECMWF on 17-18 February 2014, a second workshop was held on 25-26 June 2014 (starting 25 June at 09:00, finishing 26 June at 13:00).

Background information and outcomes of the February workshop


ECMWF is now in negotiations with the European Commission with the goal of signing a Delegation Agreement, by October 2014, to deliver the CCCS. In this context, the purpose of the second workshop is to continue engagement with the wider community to help refine the content and scope of the CCCS. An initial implementation plan for the service is currently being developed by ECMWF, with help from a team of experts on climate services in Europe, and will be presented at the workshop.

Further recommendations and outcomes of this workshop will be used to prepare a consolidated draft of the CCCS technical description to be further discussed with the European Commission over summer.


PDF iconProgramme


Copernicus Climate Change Service: Status and Progress since last workshop

Jean-Noël Thépaut (ECMWF)

Vision and Dissemination of Climate Information

Baudouin Raoult (ECMWF)

Outreach and Dissemination of Climate Information

Pietro Ceccato (IRI)

To presentation

What do users expect from C3S: Renewable energy

Gil Lizcano (Vortex)

What do users expect from C3S: Water management

Florian Pappenberger (co-ordinator of EFAS at ECMWF)

Demonstration of IRI's Data Library and Map Room

Pietro Ceccato (IRI)



Minutes of the closing plenary session of the 2nd ECMWF Climate Change Service Workshop, 24-25 June 2014

The session started with a brief review of the rotating format used to conduct the breakout discussions. Positive feedback was expressed about the format. It was noted that community involvement in these workshops has been strong, and that this is a good sign for the CCCS.

PDF iconSummary presentation of the CDS discussions

The presentation was followed by a brief discussion. It was noted that the domain definition of 'Europe' should include the island territories in the North Atlantic.

Regarding near-real time provision of data sets, it was noted that information related to attribution (e.g. what is the climatological return period for yesterday's extreme event) needs to be provided very quickly. Therefore reanalyses and other observational products need to be updated on daily (rather than monthly) timescales. A complicating issue may be that these are timescales associated with weather prediction, which is within the purview of the national met services.

It was clarified that the Service, rather than creating a single communication channel for disseminating information about events related to climate, should coordinate with national services to make sure that their messages to the public (e.g. related to impacts, attribution) are consistent. Thus, multiple communication channels: consistent message.

It was pointed out that attribution is an active area of research, which is not (yet?) mature enough for operational services. However, the CCCS can provide data and information (e.g. estimated changes in return periods) to support this research. It is conceivable that both the science and the CCCS can evolve to the point where some attribution services may become viable toward the end of the 7-year period.

PDF iconSummary presentation of the SIS discussions

Based on a question about provision of calibrated information products (such as seasonal forecasts) it was confirmed that the CDS would provide multi-model products, together with access to the information used to calibrate them (such as hindcasts).

Regarding the role of the Service in facilitating private-sector services development and impact on job creation in Europe, it was clarified that this would be achieved by providing open access to high-quality data and tools (i.e. 'generic' service provision) rather than by developing targeted products and services (as for 'prime' users such as the EC).

It was pointed out that, where possible, the definition of sectors should remain consistent with that used by the EC. In addition, care should be taken to avoid overlaps with the other Copernicus services.

Regarding the boundaries between core services (to be provided by Copernicus) and downstream services developed elsewhere, experience gained during the pre-operational phase of the Atmospheric Service indicates that it is important to state up-front to users how far the Copernicus service provision will go - i.e., what it will and will not do. For this it is necessary to clearly map the boundaries between Copernicus services and downstream services at an early stage (phase 0), addressing, for example, spatial scales of climate data. 

Another key activity in phase 0 should be the development of infrastructure for the CDS and SIS, including toolboxes to help speed up development of new applications and stimulate innovation.

PDF iconSummary presentation of the EQC discussions

In response to a question about the summary presentation, it was clarified that the need for accurate information about the current climate for QC of climate projections refers to the need to validate and improve climate models. It was left unspecified, however, in which ways this would be achieved.

Regarding the stated role of the EQC function in gathering user requirements for the Service, it was pointed out that this is only a first step. It will then be necessary to perform a gap analysis, followed by an assessment of how the requirements can be met (possibly involving research), and at what cost (i.e. a cost/benefit analysis).

PDF iconSummary presentation of the O&D discussions

Following the presentation, a brief discussion ensued about whether or not the O&D component of the Service should directly engage with the public, or whether this should be left entirely to the national platforms. The following reasons for NOT engaging directly were mentioned: language and cultural issues; the size of the audience; the level of ambition and resources required.

Closing of the workshop

Next steps to be undertaken at ECMWF are focused on completing a Delegation Agreement with the Commission by the end of October. To this end, an advanced draft of a Technical Annex outlining implementation plans for the Service must be ready by the end of July. After the Delegation Agreement takes effect, ECMWF will continue to organise workshops and other events to stimulate community engagement in the development of the Service.


Local organiser: Dr. Jean-Noël Thépaut

Administrative assistance for this workshop was provided by Samantha Moreby

E: moreby@ecmwf.int