ERA4CS projects reached the middle of life cycle

The ERA4CS Midterm meeting was held on 17-18 of September in Brussels and gathered 96 participants coming from all 26 funded projects, funders and stakeholders.

The aim of the workshop was first of all, to take stock of the progress of the 26 projects composing the JPI Climate flagship programme on climate services (ERA4CS) and inform a variety of stakeholders on the on-going findings and developments as well to offer participants the opportunity to discuss key issues for future development of the projects and collect comments, advices from all present stakeholders.

The projects have been grouped by clusters sharing a similar societal benefit or interest: Water-agriculture-energy; Marine and coastal issues; Policy, finance, tourism; Social-science driven projects and Cities, fires and health. After each cluster presentations, a group of panellists were asked to give their views on the current performance and future aspects: Do ERA4CS projects make optimal use of available climate data, especially from the C3S? How to become sustainable climate services? Has sufficient attention been given to the identification of appropriate stakeholders and how to engage them? What kind of innovative research in support of Climate Services should JPI-Climate boost in the future?

The presentations of the projects indicated that knowledge of C3S data and tools is already well developed within ERA4CS projects. However, there is a need to find a mechanism to ensure continuous uptake by ERA4CS projects. Most of the panelists recommended to preserve the legacy of knowledge and services created by projects as it will be crucial to demonstrate to all funders the value created by the ERA-NET. A large diversity of situations exists, but mainly the projects results should be transferred to an operational organisation (Copernicus services, national meteorological services, other government agencies and private companies) to form the basis of operational climate services.

Discussions also led to identify salient remaining research questions and start a serious effort on collecting data from reservoir operators, in order to calibrate hydrological models with complete data.  Suggestions covered essentially the need to improve the performances of long-range forecasts. More generally it was stressed that climate science research is still needed in order to improve the climate services tools in development.

The need to benchmark climate services appeared several times in discussions, in particular for documenting if ERA4CS projects are bringing added-value compared to climate information already available to users. ERA4CS plans to survey the opinions of a selection of users of the 26 projects in its final evaluation.

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Thursday 10 October 2019