EURO4M: New analysis aids planning for climate change

A detailed picture of European weather patterns over the past decades is now emerging thanks to an EU-funded project to re-analyse historical records. The results will help governments plan for climate change by better understanding past trends and extreme events.

Anyone with a smartphone can instantly view weather forecasts for the whole of Europe, but looking for historical data is another matter.

"There is no coordinating organisation at EU level for meteorological data from the past," says Albert Klein Tank of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Weather systems do not respect national boundaries yet until now researchers had to dig out records held by agencies in each country.

The recently finished EU-funded EURO4M project, which Klein Tank led, has remedied that by collecting, combining and consolidating weather records from all 28 EU countries and making them available to anyone in readily usable forms. EURO4M builds on an extensive earlier project called ENSEMBLES that created advanced computer models for predicting climate change.

"What is really new in the project is that we now use more detailed weather models to integrate all these different observations and get an even more complete picture," says Klein Tank.

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