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Advancing Research for Regional Climate Information

Virtual international workshop

June 29 - July 2 2020

Organisational Committee

Douglas Maraun, Birgit Bednar-Friedl (Univ. of Graz) | Francisco Doblas Reyes (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) | Alessandro Dosio (European Commission Joint Research Center) | Ted Shepherd (Univ. of Reading) | Anna Sorensson (Univ. of Buenos Aires) | Laurent Terray (CERFACS)


To guide the assessment and management of climate-related risks, decisionmakers require regional climate information that is reliable and relevant for their specific decision context. The provision of reliable and decision-relevant climate information is a transdisciplinary challenge,
ranging from fundamental science on understanding the physical climate system, to monitoring climatic changes, to evaluating, understanding and improving hierarchies of climate model simulations, to translating the resulting climate information into a user-context.
In recognition of this challenge, the IPCC working group I has dedicated three chapters of the forthcoming 6th assessment report to regional climate information. In particular Chapter 10 discusses the challenge of distilling climate information and its translation into context-relevant messages, and highlights, for instance, that a climate model ensemble projection is not a final product but rather just one line of evidence for constructing climate information (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/09/AR6_WGI_outlines_P46.pdf).
The science underlying the provision of climate information is well in line with the WCRP strategic plan. In a recent meeting addressing the implementation of the strategic plan, ideas to set up informal working groups and regional pilot studies have been brought forward (https://www.wcrp-climate.org/wcrp-hamburg/hamburg-report).


Inspired by the identification of research gaps by the IPCC and the emerging opportunities in the WCRP, this workshop aims to advance the science and practice of providing regional climate information. Specifically, the following topics will be addressed:

  •  Developing a framework for the distillation of climate information and messages, including what constitutes ‘reliable’ information;
  • Identifying research gaps in terms of understanding process controlling regional climatechange; understanding the limitations of and improving regional climate observations; climate and climate impact modelling, model development and model evaluation; integration of multiple lines of evidence into distilled information; and the construction of climate messages for risk assessment;
  • Proposing ways forward to close and/or navigate these research gaps;
  • Proposing specific pathways to organise and fund international multi- and trans-disciplinary collaboration and research;
  • Specifying two pilot studies, in the Sahel and in South Eastern South America;
  • Identifying the relevant actors (initiatives, communities, etc.).

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Perspective paper on research gaps and ways forward;
  • Ideas for the structure of working groups to organise national and international collaboration across disciplines (including suggestions for participants, stakeholders, draft research plan, funding requirements and opportunities); 
  • Pilot studies (including suggestions for participants, stakeholders, draft research plan, funding opportunities);
  • Planning of papers/special issue on specific case studies, potentially linked to pilot studies;
  • Planning of a website for sharing information and publishing research results.


The workshop will be held fully virtually including plenary sessions, breakout groups and live
documents to collect and minute ideas, questions and comments. To accommodate a broad range of time zones, the workshop will be four days long, but only 4h per day and likely after 14:00 UTC. The exact times will be decided based on the final list of participants. Sessions will open with a few keynote presentations, followed by structured discussions supervised by a facilitator and a note taker.

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