International Project Office for CORDEX

In 2014, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) selected SMHI as host institute for the International Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC). The Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) vision is to advance and coordinate the science and application of regional climate downscaling through global partnerships.

The IPOC is responsible for providing strong global coordination, together with the appropriate administrative, scientific and technical support, to respond to CORDEX’s rapidly expanding worldwide activities. The IPOC was officially launched in January 2015.

The need for regional downscaling

A Global Climate Model (GCM) can provide reliable prediction information on scales of around 1000 by 1000km covering what could be a vastly differing landscape (from very mountainous to flat coastal plains for example) with greatly varying potential for floods, droughts or other extreme events.

Regional Climate Models (RCM) and Empirical Statistical Downscaling (ESD), applied over a limited area and driven by GCMs can provide information on much smaller scales supporting more detailed impact and adaptation assessment and planning, which is vital in many vulnerable regions of the world.

SMHI’s longstanding role in CORDEX

SMHI has been a key player in CORDEX since its inception in response to the IPCC 4th Report which highlighted the need for detailed regional climate information. The Rossby Centre at SMHI produced the largest number of CORDEX simulations across seven domains (Africa, Europe, South Asia, North America, MENA, South America and the Arctic) and this data is freely available.

CORDEX activities continue apace at the Rossby Centre and the present data will be further extended with new CORDEX simulations in the future. Rossby Centre Research Leader, Dr Grigory Nikulin, is a member of the CORDEX Science Advisory Team (CORDEX-SAT) further highlighting SMHI’s scientific contribution to the project in addition to its new role as host of the IPOC.

The role of the IPOC

The IPOC is responsible for providing strong global coordination, together with the appropriate administrative, scientific and technical support, to respond to CORDEX’s rapidly expanding worldwide activities. This includes:

  • supporting the CORDEX Science Advisory Team (CORDEX-SAT) in driving forward the scientific goals and strategy of the initiative;
  • sourcing funding for activities such as workshops and training;
  • ensuring linkages to the vulnerability, impact and adaptation (VIA) community;
  • and organising the International Conference on Regional Climate: CORDEX 2016 which will take place in Stockholm in May 2016.