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South-eastern Europe Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF) Background and Operational Strategy. ICEED/10, 21-22 September 2010 TSMS, Istanbul, Turkey. Dimitar Ivanov , Chief WMO Regional Office for Europe. Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF).

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south eastern europe climate outlook forum seecof background and operational strategy

South-eastern Europe Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF)Background and Operational Strategy

ICEED/10, 21-22 September 2010 TSMS, Istanbul, Turkey

DimitarIvanov, Chief WMO Regional Office for Europe

regional climate outlook forums rcof
Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF)
  • A major component of WMO Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) project activities
  • First established in 1996 at a Meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Gained momentum as a regional response to the major 1997–1998 El Niño event
  • RCOF Concept was pioneered in Africa and spread worldwide
  • WMO and a number of national, regional and international organizations (e.g., NOAA, IRI, Meteo France, World Bank, European Commission, etc.) have supported the growth and expansion of the RCOFs
existing rcofs worldwide
Existing RCOFs worldwide


rcof concept
RCOF Concept
  • RCOFs have the task to produce and disseminate a regional assessment (using a predominantly consensus-based approach) of the state of the regional climate for the coming season
  • Built into the RCOF process is a regional networking of the climate service providers and user-sector representatives
  • National and Regional capacities are different but certainly inadequate to face the task alone
  • Ownership lies largely with national and regional players, but there is a continuing need for support at all levels to ensure that the momentum gained to date is maintained
rcof concept5
RCOF Concept
  • RCOFs bring together national, regional and international climate experts, on an operational basis, to produce regional climate outlooks based on input from NMHSs, regional institutions, Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and Global Producing Centres of long range forecasts (GPCs) and other climate prediction centres
  • Through interaction with sectoral users and policy makers, RCOFs assess the likely implications of the outlooks on the most pertinent socio-economic sectors in the given region and explore the ways in which these outlooks could be used
  • RCOFs also review obstacles in the use of climate information, experiences and successful lessons regarding applications of the past RCOF products, that help to enhance sector-specific applications
  • The RCOFs are supplemented by national forums to develop detailed national-scale climate outlooks and risk information including warnings for communication to decision-makers and the public
climate change and rcofs
Climate Change and RCOFs
  • RCOFs have been set up so far with the main focus on seasonal prediction
  • However, the same RCOF mechanism can be effectively expanded to cater to the needs of developing and disseminating regional climate change information products
  • Such initiatives are already being taken up by some RCOFs (e.g., Greater Horn of Africa)
  • Regional assessments of observed and projected climate change, including the development of downscaled climate change scenario products for impact assessments, can be included in the product portfolio of RCOFs
climate change and rcofs7
Climate Change and RCOFs
  • RCOFs have been recognized to have potential contributions to the UNFCCC/SBSTA Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on Adaptation to Climate Change
  • CLIPS/RCOFs have been included in the UNFCCC Compendium of Methods and Tools in support of climate adaptation
  • RCOFs form a core component of WMO Action Pledge to the NWP on climate information, products and services for adaptation
southeastern europe climate outlook forum seecof
Southeastern Europe Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF)
  • First RCOF in Europe
  • The countries that participated in SEECOF-1 were: Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan (total 16)
  • Cyprus and Israel joined SEECOF-2
seecof 1 zagreb croatia 11 12 june 2008

SEECOF-1Zagreb, Croatia, 11-12 June 2008
  • Organized by World Meteorological Organization
  • Co-sponsored by:
    • The World Bank
    • DHMZ, Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia
    • MeteoSwiss
    • Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
    • ARSO, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia
seecof 1 participants
SEECOF-1 Participants
  • Altogether 80 participants from 21 countries, including:
    • Representatives of the Croatian Government and EU Presidency
    • International Organizations (WB, UNDP, WMO)
    • 4 Permanent Representatives with WMO
    • 9 International experts
    • Climate experts from SEECOF countries
    • 20 representatives of user sectors of climate information from 5 SEECOF countries and various economic sectors (agriculture, water management, energy, environment, civil protection, transportation and media).
seecof 1 consensus seasonal outlook
SEECOF-1 Consensus Seasonal Outlook
  • Since the 1980s, summers in the South-Eastern European (SEE) region have frequently been hotter than in previous decades. The 2008 summer season is likely to be more similar to some of the hot summers of recent decades than to those of the generally cooler 1960s and 1970s. A hot summer brings risk of heat waves and their associated impacts, but given the information available it is not possible at this stage to make any specific statement about the risk of heat waves in 2008.
  • Unlike temperatures, there have been no region-wide trends in summer rainfall in SEE. There is currently little agreement among available predictions of summer rainfall for 2008, but there is some suggestion that the eastern part of the region will be drier than average, while the western part will be wetter than average.
xv ra vi decisions on rcof
XV-RA VI decisions on RCOF

Excerpt from XV RA VI Report:

“ The Association noted with deep appreciation that the Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF) process has been initiated in the Region, with the organization of SEECOF-1 in Zagreb, Croatia, from 11 to 12 June 2008. The Association thanked the World Bank for its sponsorship of the event and the NMHSs of Croatia, Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia for their co-sponsorship and technical/logistic support. The Association agreed that the RA VI RCOF efforts need to be sustained in the longer term as required, and urged the Drought Management Centre for South-eastern Europe (DMCSEE), South-east European Virtual Climate Change Centre (SEEVCCC) and Members in the sub-region to continue further their support to the SEECOF process. Noting with appreciation the WMO WCRP IPY Workshop on CLIPS in Polar Regions (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 8-11 September 2008), and the agreement to work towards the establishment of a Polar Climate Outlook Forum (PCOF), the Association urged all Members with interests in the Polar Regions to actively contribute to the relevant efforts to identify the priority user requirements for climate information in these regions.”

xv ra vi decisions on rcof13
XV-RA VI decisions on RCOF
  • XV-RA VI established the WG on Climate and Hydrology (WG-CH)
  • WG-CH will coordinate the RCOF developments in RA VI based on its ToRs:
    • To facilitate the implementation of the Regional Climate Outlook Forum mechanism in the Region;
  • Task Team on RCOF:
  • Dmitry Kiktev Russian Federation
  • Mattew Collins United Kingdom
  • Roxana Bojariu Romania
  • Ernesto Rodriguez Spain
  • BrankoBijelic Serbia
seecof 2 budapest hungary 23 27 nov 2009
SEECOF-2Budapest, Hungary, 23-27 Nov 2009
  • Organized by World Meteorological Organization
  • Sponsored by
    • European Commission, DG Enlargement
    • (through the DRR/SEE Project)
    • Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ)
seecof 2
  • 29 participants from 15 countries
  • Organized as two-stage event:
    • Part A: Pre-COF Capacity Building and Consensus Outlook Generation, 23-25/11/2009
    • Part B: SEECOF-2 Session, Consensus Outlook Issue and User Interaction 26-27/11/2009
  • In the capacity building part the participating climate experts were trained in using, interpreting and downscaling global seasonal prediction products, and in developing a consensus outlook
seecof 3 on line forum may 2010
SEECOF-3on-line forum, May 2010

The first on-line COF

Organized by World Meteorological Organization


Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMS)

SEE Virtual Climate Change Centre (SEEVCCC)

seecof 3
  • SEECOF-3 was the first COF conducted through electronic exchange between climate experts from South-East Europe with the support of experts from leading climate centres
  • SEECOF-3 focused on the Summer season (June, July, August) of 2010
  • The on-line collaboration involved three steps with target date for preparing of the consensus statement is 28 May 2010
seecof 319
  • Step 1 - qualitative verification of the SEECOF-2 Winter forecast (December 2009 – February 2010)
  • Step 2 - assessment of the current state of the climate including large-scale climate patterns worldwide and assessments of its likely evolution in the course of the next months.
  • Step 3 - building the consensus outlook for the Summer 2010
seecof 320
  • Highly successful event conducted in the most efficient manner
  • Proved the viability of the on-line method for the COF through exchange of e-mails, on-line forum, special website
  • Large participation – 18 countries
  • Excellent moderation by the Co-chair of WG-CH, SEEVCCC experts, resource persons from Meteo-France and Roshydromet
  • On the down side – no training session; no interaction with the users
seecof 4
  • Tentatively scheduled for 23 – 30 November 2010
  • Hosted in Belgrade by RHMS Serbia
  • Strong capacity-building component – 5-days training for climate experts
  • Interaction with users and outreach
  • Financing – through the DRR/SEE Project (adjustment to the project budget submitted to EC for approval)
  • Participation by all ICEED members strongly encouraged
seecof and climate change
SEECOF and Climate Change
  • Moving towards a future consensus on regional climate change over SEE
  • Individual results vary, but some common signals are apparent:
    • Warming
    • Increase in the frequency of extreme climate events
    • Drier climate in summer
seecof and climate change24
SEECOF and Climate Change
  • SEECOF noted that several attempts have been made to develop regional climate change scenarios for SEE, but that there is considerable diversity in approaches.
  • SEECOF processes can play a crucial role in promoting a collaborative and complementary approach, thereby facilitating consensus and consistency in generating climate change information in support of climate adaptation.
  • SEECOF promotes regional ownership of climate knowledgebase, and supports region-driven climate change actions.
seecof operational strategy
SEECOF Operational Strategy
  • Regular holding of SEECOF sessions
  • Local ownership and sustained networking
    • A regional mechanism to coordinate SEECOF
  • Links to GPCs and RCCs
  • Consensus on the most effective timing of SEECOF and its operational products (seasonal rainfall ?)
  • More stakeholder involvement (users, policymakers, media)
  • WMO/RA VI guidance and support
  • Capacity building/Pre-COF sessions
  • The key to progress is to keep doing it
  • Optimize resource utilization : explore cost-effective ways