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Blue-Action: Arctic Impact on Weather and Climate is a Research and Innovation action (RIA) funded by the Horizon 2020 Work programme topics addressed: BG-10-2016 Impact of Arctic changes on the weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere. Start date was 1 December 2016. Duration: 51 months


Blue-Action will provide fundamental and empirically-grounded, executable science that quantifies and explains the role of a changing Arctic in increasing predictive capability of weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere.

To achieve this Blue-Action will take a transdisciplinary approach, bridging scientific understanding within Arctic climate, weather and risk management research, with key stakeholder knowledge of the impacts of climatic weather extremes and hazardous events; leading to the co-design of better services.

This bridge will build on innovative statistical and dynamical approaches to predict weather and climate extremes.

In dialogue with users, Blue-Arctic will take stock of existing knowledge about cross-sectoral impacts and vulnerabilities with respect to the occurrence of these events when associated to weather and climate predictions.

Modeling and prediction capabilities will be enhanced by targeting firstly, lower latitude oceanic and atmospheric drivers of regional Arctic changes and secondly, Arctic impacts on Northern Hemisphere climate and weather extremes.

Coordinated multi-model experiments will be key to test new higher resolution model configurations. Innovative methods to reduce forecast error, and advanced methods to improve uptake of new Earth observations assets are planned.

Blue-Action thereby demonstrates how such an uptake may assist in creating better optimised observation system for various modelling applications.

The improved robust and reliable forecasting can help meteorological and climate services to better deliver tailored predictions and advice, including sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales, will take Arctic climate prediction beyond seasons and to teleconnections over the Northern Hemisphere.

Blue-Action will through its concerted efforts therefore contribute to the improvement of climate models to represent Arctic warming realistically and address its impact on regional and global atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

Conceptual illustration of the Blue-Action project

Overall objective

To actively improve our ability to describe, model, and predict Arctic climate change and its impact on Northern Hemisphere climate, weather and their extremes, and to deliver valuated climate services of societal benefit.

Top level objectives

1- Improving long range forecast skill for hazardous weather and climate events

by innovative representation of weather and climatic extremes, process-oriented diagnostic of weather systems in observations and climate simulations, and establishment of their links to Arctic changes and dominant climate variability modes.

2- Enhancing the predictive capacity beyond seasons in the Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere

by improved representation of the oceanic impacts on sea-ice formation and melting, by synthesising observations, assessing model performance, better representing northward propagating oceanic heat anomalies in the Atlantic and Pacific, and by quantifying the impact of Greenland Ice Sheet melting. (WP2, WP3, WP4)

3- Quantifying the impact of recent rapid changes in the Arctic on Northern Hemisphere climate and weather extremes

by performing coordinated multi-model sensitivity experiments with atmospheric and climate models and assessing their ability to represent the observed changes, and by disentangling the effect of Arctic sea-ice retreat from the influence of the main modes of climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere.

4- Improving the description of key processes controlling the impact of the polar amplification of global warming in prediction systems

through skilful simulation of the stable Arctic atmospheric planetary boundary layer, implementing the effects of varying runoff into the Arctic, and establishing the impact of increasing horizontal and vertical model resolution, including in the stratosphere, needed to improve predictive skills.

5- Optimizing observational systems for predictions

by delivering an optimized oceanic monitoring system based on an integrated understanding of low latitude drivers of Arctic change, and by assessing its suitability and benefit for initializing climate predictions, with a focus on recent climatic extremes.

6- Reducing and evaluating the uncertainty in prediction systems

through innovative initialization techniques, by facilitating the uptake of new Earth Observations, and by assessing influences on Arctic cryosphere changes.

7- Fostering the capacity of key stakeholders to adapt and respond to climate change and boosting their economic growth

by developing and delivering valuated climate services. 

8- Transferring knowledge to a wide range of interested key stakeholders

by engaging with the scientific community, business actors, policy and decision makers, indigenous communities, and the not-for-profit sector in a dialogue allowing exploitation of our results, and providing free and open access and re-use of all data.

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