Are there benefits for stakeholders from representation of North Atlantic extratropical cyclones using the PRIMAVERA project high-resolution global climate models?

14:00 Tuesday 28 May


Room S10


Erika Palin (United Kingdom) 1; Galina Guentchev (United Kingdom) 1; Julia Lockwood (United Kingdom) 1

1 - Met Office

Higher-resolution (both spatial and temporal) climate model simulations are vital to assess how the risk of high-impact climate events, such as heat waves, floods, and droughts, is projected to change over the coming decades. Such simulations are a necessary element of climate impact, risk and adaptation assessments.

The EU Horizon 2020 project PRIMAVERA (PRocess-based climate sIMulation: AdVances in high-resolution modelling and European climate Risk Assessment) is exploring how the latest generation of high-resolution global climate models (GCMs) could enhance our ability to study European extreme events. The expectation is that these models will be capable of simulating and predicting regional climate, and more specifically physical processes behind high-impact events such as floods, extra-tropical cyclones and heat waves, with unprecedented fidelity compared to traditional resolution (> 100 km) models, yielding benefits for governments, business and society in general.

Engagement with end-users and stakeholders from the insurance, transport, energy, health, and agriculture sectors is an important part of the project. PRIMAVERA is working with user communities to explore how the increased model resolution can add value for decision-making.

This presentation showcases an example of the user-centric case studies developed within PRIMAVERA that demonstrate the pull-through from scientific research to real-world decision-making processes. The case study focuses on the collaborative work with participants from the insurance industry and includes as an objective the evaluation of the fidelity of the high-resolution climate models to represent extra-tropical cyclones that bring large societal impacts due to high winds and large amounts of rain often leading to flooding.

We compare atmosphere-only GCMs from the PRIMAVERA project with observational baseline for the historical period as represented by two reanalyses datasets, the ERA Interim and the MERRA reanalyses. We also compare the PRIMAVERA models to similar atmosphere-only simulations from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project – phase 5 (CMIP5). We investigate various characteristics of the extra-tropical cyclones (ETCs) entering the European domain. Among these characteristics are the intensity of the ETCs as represented by their minimum sea level pressure, maximum vorticity and maximum wind speeds at 925hPa height in the atmosphere.

The results from these analyses are encouraging. The PRIMAVERA models could prove very useful for the insurance industry if it can be shown that they realistically simulate ETC wind characteristics and the resulting flooding.

PRIMAVERA has received funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 641727.