Despite stiff international competition SMHI was chosen by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) as host institution of the new International Project Office for CORDEX (Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment). CORDEX is a global collaborative initiative to develop regional climate scenarios for the world's land areas.
‘They stressed our established role in regional climate modelling. They also highlighted our experience of knowledge-building in climate change impacts and adaptation to climate change in many regions around the world’, says SMHI Director General Rolf Brennerfelt on signing the official Letter of Agreement.
The growing need for detailed climate information
How the climate will change in the future is largely based on results from Global Climate Models; however, work on climate adaptation at regional and local levels requires much more detailed information. Providing climate information at this scale is therefore vitally important.
‘Knowledge of climate impacts and adaptation to climate change is necessary in the face of a changing climate. The UN climate panel, the IPCC, has pointed to the need for detailed regional climate information for all populated areas of the world. They have identified a shortage of this type of information in many developing countries, which are often most vulnerable to a changing climate’, says Erik Kjellström, Director of SMHI’s climate research unit, the Rossby Centre.
Knowledge exchange and capacity building
An important element of the CORDEX initiative is to promote education and knowledge-building in developing countries. This is achieved by supporting climate scientists, but also by ensuring dialogue and knowledge exchange takes place between researchers, government officials, politicians and other decision-making groups.
‘For many years we have been at the forefront of development of regional climate models, and we have helped drive CORDEX forward. As host of the International Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC), we will now be able to continue this work, but in a more formal role’, says Erik Kjellström.
The IPOC will provide the strong global coordination, together with the appropriate administrative, scientific and technical support, to respond to CORDEX’s expanding worldwide activities. It is expected to start its work in early 2015.
CORDEX (Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment) is a global collaborative initiative that aims to develop the knowledge of regional downscaling of global climate scenarios, and provide and develop detailed, regional climate information necessary for the vulnerability, impact and adaptation studies at local and regional level.
SMHI is one of the main actors in CORDEX, which was created within the UN's World Climate Research Programme after the IPCC's fourth climate report in 2007. This climate report made it clear that there was no detailed regional information on climate trends in the world.
To begin with CORDEX focused on Africa, but the scope has now has widened considerably with climate simulations being completed for a large portion of the world's land areas.