PRIMAVERA (Process-based climate simulation: advances in high resolution modelling and European climate risk assessment)  aims to develop a new generation of advanced and well-evaluated high-resolution global climate models, capable of simulating and predicting regional climate with unprecedented fidelity, for the benefit of governments, business and society in general.

The concept of model fidelity (the accuracy with which a numerical simulation captures the behaviour of the real world) is central to PRIMAVERA, and its foundations are in process understanding. It is clear that many of the most pressing questions about regional climate change urgently require advances in process simulation.

Many years of experience, first in numerical weather prediction and, equally albeit only recently, in climate simulation, have demonstrated that advances in the explicit simulation of key processes are essential to achieving sustained progress and to provide robust answers. High-resolution has been identified as one essential element of the development of GCMs to reproduce key climate processes with higher fidelity than conventional GCMs, thus enabling detailed process understanding.

PRIMAVERA is organised around five major research themes:  1. Innovations in Modelling, 2. Process-based Assessment, 3. Drivers of European Climate, 4. Flagship Simulations for CMIP6, and  5. Climate Risk Assessment.  The results will help answer questions like to what extent are recent heat waves, floods and droughts in Europe attributable to natural variability or human influences on the global climate system? And how will the risk of such high impact climate and weather events change over the next few decades?

Project Goals

a. To develop a new generation of global high-resolution climate models.

b. To develop new strategies and tools for evaluating global high-resolution climate models at a process level, and for quantifying the uncertainties in the predictions of regional climate.

c. To provide new high-resolution protocols and flagship simulations for WCRP’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) project, to inform the IPCC assessments and in support of emerging Climate Services.

d. To explore the scientific and technological frontiers of capability in global climate modelling to provide guidance for the development of future generations of prediction systems, global climate and Earth System models (informing post-CMIP6 and beyond).

e. To advance understanding of past and future, natural and anthropogenic, drivers of variability and changes in European climate, including high impact events, by exploiting new capabilities in high-resolution global climate modelling.

f. To produce new, more robust and trustworthy projections of European climate for the next few decades based on improved global models and advances in process understanding.

g. To engage with targeted end-user groups in key European economic sectors to strengthen their competitiveness growth, resilience and ability by exploiting new scientific progress.

h. To establish cooperation between science and policy actions at European and international level, to support the development of effective climate change policies, optimize public decision making and increase capability to manage climate risks.

Role of SMHI

In PRIMAVERA, SMHI will lead WP2 (The added value of high-resolution in the atmosphere and ocean) where the benefits of increased resolution in global coupled climate models for processes affecting European climate and its variability will be assessed. SMHI will contribute to WP1 with the development of process based metrics for ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. In WP3, SMHI will work on interactive aerosol-radiation-cloud coupling and improve the sea ice component. SMHI will contribute to WP5, using its considerable expertise in high latitude climate processes to identify the main drivers for European climate variability and change. SMHI will also contribute to the core atmosphere and coupled climate simulations in WP6. In WP10, SMHI will use its outstanding knowledge in high weather impact events and regional climate modelling in the CORDEX context.

Project partners

The PRIMAVERA project is a collaboration between 19 European partners, led by the UK Met Office (Dr. Malcolm Roberts, Project Coordinator) and Reading University (Prof Pier Luigi Vidale, Scientific Coordinator).  The complete list can be found here.


PRIMAVERA is a European Union Horizon 2020 Project funded under the program SC5-01-2014: Advanced Earth-system models.


PRIMAVERA will run from 2015 to 2019.

Contact person

Torben Koenigk