SPECS will deliver a new generation of European climate forecast systems, including initialised Earth System Models (ESMs) and efficient regionalisation tools to produce quasi-operational and actionable local climate information over land at seasonal-to-decadal time scales with improved forecast quality and a focus on extreme climate events, and provide an enhanced communication protocol and services to satisfy the climate information needs of a wide range of public and private stakeholders. This grand challenge is at the centre of SPECS’ overarching objectives that will push the boundaries of the current capability in climate forecasting and dissemination of information:

  • achieve an objective exhaustive evaluation of current forecast quality from dynamical, statistical, and consolidated systems to identify the factors limiting s2d predictive capability
  • test specific hypotheses for the improvement of s2d predictions, including novel mechanisms responsible for high-impact events using a process-based verification approach
  • develop innovative methods for a comprehensive forecast quality assessment, including the maximum skill currently attainabl
  • facilitate the integration of multidimensional observational data of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-land system as sources of initial conditions, and to validate and calibrate climate predictions
  • achieve an improved forecast quality at regional scales by better initialising the different components, an increase in the spatial resolution of the global forecast systems and the introduction of important new process descriptions
  • assess the best alternatives to characterise and deal with the uncertainties in climate prediction from both dynamical and statistical perspectives for the increase of forecast reliability
  • achieve reliable and accurate local-to-regional predictions via the combination and calibration of the information from different sources and a range of state-of-the-art regionalisation tools
  • illustrate the usefulness of the improvements for specific applications and develop methodologies to better communicate actionable climate information to policy-makers, stakeholders and the public through peer-reviewed publications, e-based dissemination tools, multi-media, examples for specific stakeholders (energy and agriculture), stakeholder surveys, conferences and targeted workshops
  • support the European contributions to WMO research initiatives on s2d prediction such as the GFCS and enhance the European role on the provision of climate services according to WMO protocols by creating examples of improved tailored forecast-based products for the GPCs and participating in their transfer to worldwide RCCs and NHMSs.