Climate change: services being developed to evaluate the climate and prepare for adaptation. ERA4CS ERA-NET projects

How can we take the growing risk of forest fires into account in the management of wooded areas, or floods in coastal areas? How can we adapt cities to deal with heatwaves or anticipate the impact of climate risks on electricity generation to guarantee the balance between supply and demand? Climate services are emerging in response to the need for institutions, businesses and citizens to be able to draw on relevant information, tools and methods. These services enable the evaluation of the climate and the comprehension of the climate change impact on socioeconomic activities and on the environment. To support the research into the development of these services, the partners of the ERA-NET ERA4CS, coordinated by the French National Research Agency (ANR), launched a call for proposals in 2017. Here we review several results among the 26 funded projects following the reporting symposium organised in late September 2021.

The goal of the ERA4CS call was to support the development of tools, methods and standards for the production, transfer, communication and use of climate information. The 26 projects funded covered a wide variety of themes, including marine and coastal issues, fires, water, agriculture, energy, finance and tourism. They have enriched knowledge on how to integrate climate science into concrete applications, decision-making and co-development of climate services incorporating the needs of end users.



For example, the CLIMALERT project consortium studied the impact of climate stress on agriculture and water quality in Spain, Portugal and Germany They developed a prototype web app covering two regions of interest among the cases studied, with information on water supplies and rainfall in past and future climate contexts (2031–2060 and 2071-2100). A mobile app was also designed to provide climate indicators (air temperature, ground temperature, rainfall) and soil status indicators for three regions: north-eastern Portugal, Algars and the Saale district.

A collaboration between climate and health specialists and users, was organised through the ClimApp project, to study the impact of thermal stress on human health and on strategies to combat stress due to heat and cold. The collaboration led to the development of a mobile app as well as the publication of scientific articles. The mobile app incorporates weather forecasts from OpenWeatherMap into human thermal models to provide warnings and personalised advice on thermal stress. The service includes individual vulnerability (age, activity level, clothing, heat acclimatisation) and is available in nine languages. The app was awarded the International Weather Apps Awards 2020, organised by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), for its originality and innovation.

The scientific team of the Clim2power project, meanwhile, examined the impact of climate on electricity generation and demand in Europe. They developed an online prototype  service, jointly with climatologists, public decision-makers and businesses, that supplies information on the total electricity that could be generated by wind, solar and hydroelectric power by 2030 and 2050, for each European country, taking climate scenarios into account.

In the INSEAPTION project, a consortium of climatologists and coastal planning authorities, first studied the needs of their end users on the sea level via workshops, interviews and training courses. Then they integrated information about the decision-making and governance context and the climate data and services available. It produced data sets on average and extreme sea levels on a global scale, developed models and software for evaluating coastal flooding risks increased by rising sea levels. Moreover they developed a website with the ECLISEA project, also funded through this call, to analyse and visualise different rising-sea-levels scenarios: Their production enriched the operational services provided by the French national climate services portal DRIAS.

To contribute to a better understanding of the risks associated with the climate, the partners of the ISIPEDIA project developed a web portal presenting results and data on climate change in terms accessible to a broad audience: regional stakeholders, journalists and the wider public. The ISIpedia articles are written by scientists, they describe the results and the methods used in related peer reviewed scientific articles.

Another application is the SERV_ForFire project, which produced scientific articles on the factors and impacts of forest fires, mapping techniques using in situ and satellite data and models for forecasting fire risk. They also developed online prototype services targeting decision-makers, water management authorities and stakeholders. This site provides data sets and graphs on drought indices for several regions of Italy, with archives of fire risk warning bulletins:

Many other results have been produced by the 26 projects funded through ERA4CS. The research teams that have benefited from ERA4CS support will now devote themselves to developing their initial results into operational climate services. To achieve this, ERA4CS has forged contacts with the Copernicus services, national meteorological services and, more generally, a number of climate service providers that may be interested in using the results.

Find out more:

Presentations of the 26 projects supported by ERA4CS

Documents available at the JPI Climate website

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