Climate services

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They say that climate is what you expect while weather is what you get, but what can you expect? And what can you expect in the future? And how will the weather compare to expectations? The development of climate services is something that all national meteorological services are involved in, but at different stages. Slightly simplified, one can say that the most important stages and modules of climate services are:

  1. Understanding the climate in the country as it is now
  2. Understanding the development of the climate in the country up to now
  3. Being able to describe possible climatic futures

Behind each of these parts comes an increasingly complex conglomerate of internal services. The simplest approach to point 1 is the normals. In order to create good normals, one must collect observations for the last 30 years and process those data sets with simple statistical methods. In addition to averages, the normals should also describe variability and extremes. To achieve point 2, one ideally needs long stable sequences of observations, but here one can use statistical methodology to compensate for changes in observation systems and the environment around observations. If you want to look at future climate changes, you have to connect to the large international systems in CMIP and CORDEX for climate projections, and other systems such as Copernicus for, for example, seasonal warnings.

Based on the professional effort with data management and analysis, both historically and in the future, competence must be built up to communicate about climate and climate change to the society so that the information can be used for climate adaptation and preparedness.