The IEA, based at University of Reading, has been appointed to lead a major project to understand what sort of climate information organisations need to make better decisions. The first step will be to launch a survey in September, across private businesses and public organisations throughout Europe.
The contract – SECTEUR (Sector Engagement for Copernicus Climate Change Service; Translating European User Requirements) is funded by the Reading-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of Copernicus, the European Commission’s Earth observation and monitoring programme.
SECTEUR will engage directly with end-users to analyse their requirements for climate information, identify gaps and deliver recommendations on future needs to support better informed decision-making. The sectors covered are: Agriculture & Forestry, Coastal areas, Health, Infrastructure, Insurance and Tourism.
The SECTEUR online survey, being led by the University of Leeds, one of the partners in the project, will be distributed in 5 European languages. The survey will cover a number of topics to capture the types of climate information used, the usefulness of this information and how it might be improved, as well as identifying limitations and gaps in current provisions of climate information.
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Dr Carlo Buontempo, Manager of the Sectoral Information Systems for Copernicus Climate Change Service at ECMWF, says: “SECTEUR is an exciting project that will provide us with valuable information about what real users of climate information need. This will help us to shape the Climate Change Service that Copernicus will provide.”
Prof Nigel Arnell, SECTEUR Science Lead at University of Reading, said: “Climate is changing and organisations are vulnerable to these changes. For example, climate change will have a wide range of impacts such as sea level rise and increased risks of flooding, droughts and heat waves.
“Organisations need to plan for the impacts and opportunities that our changing climate will bring. Having the appropriate tools and data to make evidence-based decisions is essential. SECTEUR will work with organisations through a set of workshops, a survey and interviews to understand their climate information requirements, as well as possible tools and future research to fill gaps. The health sector, for example, could benefit from climate predictions and tools that provide early warning on extremes such as heat waves.”
Dr Maria Noguer, SECTEUR Project Manager, based at the IEA, encourages businesses and organisations to take part, saying: “Engaging with SECTEUR will put your organisation in the driving seat. Your requirements could be translated into tailored products that could help you make better decisions in an uncertain climate future.”
Colin McKinnon, IEA CEO, said: “We are delighted that ECMWF has trusted us to deliver this important project which supports the IEA aims of taking environmental data and making it relevant to end-users.”