Scope and objectives

ERA4CS is designed to support research that develops better tools, methods and standards on how to produce, transfer, communicate and use reliable climate and related information. This call mobi-lizes both the Research Funding Organisations (RFOs) and the Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) in EU Member States and Associated Countries. The aim is to enhance national CS activities and support the various disciplines to address research gaps that exist between the diverse needs of user communities and climate system science.

The call places an emphasis on integrated research that creates a bridge between observations, model development, operational products, information translation and user uptake. One of the main objectives of ERA4CS is to improve quality, satisfaction and user adoption of CS (incl. adaptation services). At the same time ERA4CS aims to improve the scientific expertise on CC risks and adaptation options, and to connect that knowledge with decision-making, e.g. by developing and assessing climate adaptation strategies and pathways for countries, regions, cities, catchments and vulnerable sectors.

The feedback loop from users to research development is crucial in this context during the project lifetime, from co-design of research priorities to co-development of tools, up to the co-production and co-evaluation of products and a subsequent refinement of the research strategy. Resulting products/instruments from ERA4CS will help to assess vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation re-sponses to current and future climate variability and change including extremes for specific regions, sectors, over relevant time periods and spatial scales. They may for example be designed to provide insight into CC effects in urban and/or rural areas, in order to assist in determination of the appro-priate risk reduction and adaption measures. They could also advance understanding of integrated management of small to large scale ecological and social systems (e.g. a city within a larger system) and how this can be optimized to face climate variability and change (e. g. for the prevention of droughts or flooding or the adverse effects of other extreme events). CS may also be designed to help e. g. shaping a climate adaption plan for an entire catchment area or river basin, shedding light on the integrated behaviour of water systems influenced by CC and dynamic user demands. The concept could include approaches to address multi-driver vulnerability, risk and economic analyses, e. g. arising from infrastructure investments, assessing aspects of adaptation measures, and guiding their implementation in planning processes and including dealing with conflicting interests, institutional issues and wider societal and environmental objectives.

By developing a “translation layer along the Climate Service chain” ERA4CS expects to stimulate advanced solutions for risk reduction and adaptation, including the management of uncertainties, possibly giving at the same time an impulse for the development of a CS market. The assessment of the potential of such advanced approaches in the field of CS (incl. demonstration of the added value) is part of this call. The operational deployment and building of the market itself as well as the routine provision of raw and generic climate information (observations, projections, etc.) is not included. As shown in Figure 1 these are part of complementary initiatives, such as Copernicus, Climate-KIC and Horizon 2020 (c.f. European research and innovation Roadmap for CS).