Apr 08, 2020

Copernicus Climate Change Service (CS3) app on bird migration

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Copernicus Climate Change Service (CS3) app on bird migration

White storks over the Strait of Gibraltar (Tarifa, Spain). Source: Alejandro Onrubia. Migres Foundation.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, is developing a new bird migration app through its contractors Randbee Consultants. In collaboration with the Migres Foundation, Randbee will, through use of data collected from the C3S climate data store and infrastructure, machine learning and modelling, show the magnitude of the impact of climate change in ecosystems through migratory birds.

As migratory birds are considered bioindicator species, which can be used as a measure of the ecosystem’s health, the CS3 app will indirectly provide information on the environmental changes caused by global warming. The tool will demonstrate the long-term spatial effects of climate change on bird migration across Europe, predicting the distribution of different bird migratory species and showing the shifts that have taken place in recent decades in their spring arrival dates.

The tool showcases a sample of highly popular and well-known long-distance migratory species in Europe and Africa, but the approach can be adapted to other bioindicator species in different geographical regions, showing the many different applications of CS3 products in the field of environmental research, management, and education. Most importantly, the narrative, told through maps and visual arts to tell the story of how climate change affects migrating birds, is underpinned by scientific knowledge and traceable, quality assured data.

The project aims to capitalise on the everyday popularity of birds – whether with members of the public or scientists – to inform and support policy makers, engage birdwatchers and raise awareness among the general public of the effects of climate change and the power and range of climate data available to inform decision-making. The ultimate goal is to use birds as a means to stimulate conservation actions and awareness. A selected group of stakeholders, including ornithologists, birdwatchers and ecotourism companies are actively participating in the design and implementation of the CS3 app.

Randbee Consultants is a company with extensive experience in data analysis and modelling, development of web visualization tools, e-learning and capacity development. With a focus on using cutting edge technologies to support policy-making on environmental and socioeconomic monitoring, they use Big data and machine learning and other modelling techniques to analyse, mapping, and communicate shifts in bird migration in response to climate change, at European level and beyond. If you want to know more about Randbee, you can visit our website or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

This project has been funded by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, part of the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, implemented by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission.

You can find the latest news about the project on the CS3 website or follow the ECMWF on Twitter or LinkedIn.