Climatic Projection acronyms

Last update: Mar. 2018

...To better under ECEM and its demonstrator.

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Acronyms Definition

Anomalies represent the departures of specific measurements and/or forecasts from their long-term climatological values. Anomalies describe how much a specific variable differs from its normal state.

In ECEM, data can be plotted as anomalies from a long-term baseline (currently 1981-2010).

Biosphere The part of the Earth system comprising all ecosystems and living organisms, in the atmosphere, on land (terrestrial biosphere) or in the oceans (marine biosphere), including derived dead organic matter, such as litter, soil organic matter and oceanic detritus.
BC Black Carbon - Operationally defined aerosol species based on measurement of light absorption and chemical reactivity and/or thermal stability. It is sometimes referred to as soot. BC is mostly formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass but it also occurs naturally. It stays in the atmosphere only for days or weeks. It is the most strongly light-absorbing component of particulate matter (PM) and has a warming effect by absorbing heat into the atmosphere and reducing the albedo when deposited on ice or snow.
C3S Copernicus Climate Change Service: current european project on climate
C4E Clim4Energy project is one of the C3S projects, such as ECEM.
Climate Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. The relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.
Climate forecasts or Climate predictions Climate forecast (or Climate predictions or Seasonal forecasts) is the result of an attempt to produce (starting from a particular state of the climate system) an estimate of the actual evolution of the climate in the future, for example, at seasonal, interannual or decadal time scales. Since the future evolution of the climate system may be highly sensitive to initial conditions, such predictions are usually probabilistic in nature. See also Climate projection, Climate scenario, Model initialization and Predictability.
Climate Models GCMs (Global Climate Models, or General Circulation Models - 100-300 km of spatial resolution) and their downscaled version RCMs (Regional Climate Models - 10-50 km) are computer codes used to solve a set of mathematical equations describing the laws of physics relevant to the atmospheric and oceanic circulation, the distribution of heat and the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and atmospheric gases and aerosols. Climate models represent an implementation of our theoretical knowledge of the climate system, describing interconnections between processes. They consist of different modules describing the atmosphere, oceans, sea-ice/snow and the land surface, and represent the world in terms of boxes stacked next to and on top of each other. The values for temperature, motion and mass are solved in each of these boxes, based on well known physical laws.
Climate projections

A Climate Projection is the simulated response of the climate system to a scenario of future emission or concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols, generally derived using climate models. Climate projections are distinguished from climate predictions in order to emphasize that climate projections depend upon the emission/concentration/radiative forcing scenario used, which are based on assumptions concerning, for example, future socioeconomic and technological developments that may or may not be realised.

If the projection is dependant on a future emission scenario (socio economic pathways), projections start in 2005. To get an historic modellized of climate, you can run a climate model in the past starting on the date of your choice. In ECEM, the selected date is 1979.

Clusters 96 clusters defined by e-Highway 2050 using technical and qualitative criteria to capture the contrasts in generation potentials and load on the European territory that generate flows of electricity. The starting point for aggregation into clusters is NUTS 3 regions (the smallest of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics regions). More information on clusters.

Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, x corresponding to the number of the phase - Global model which consider interactions between all systems: atmosphere, ocean, ice, biosphere. It represents an exercise of comparison of models as an attempt to cover the field of climatic possibilities in the future for a given scenario.

CMIP5 started in 2005.

COPxx The "Conferences Of the Parties" is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements. More information on COP.
e-Highway 2050 The e-Highway2050 project is supported by the EU Seventh Framework Programme and is aimed at developing a methodology to support the planning of the Pan-European Transmission Network, focusing on 2020 to 2050, to ensure the reliable delivery of renewable electricity and pan-European market integration.. More on e-Highway2050.
ECEM European Climatic Energy Mixes, one of the C3S projects

An ECV is a physical, chemical or biological variable or a group of linked variables that critically contributes to the characterization of Earth' s climate.

In ECEM, the following ECVs among the 54 specified by the GCOS have been selected: Temperature (at 2m height), Precipitation, Radiation (Global Horizontal Irradiance), Wind speed (at 10m and 100m heights), Relative humidity (at 2m height), Mean sea level pressure

More information on ECVs

Ensemble is a collection of model simulations characterizing a climate prediction (or projection). Running a GCM model multiple times only changing the initial conditions can at times simulate extended periods of quite different climate change signals for a specified area. This is due to the natural variability of the climate system, and it is impossible to state which circulation change is more likely to occur in the future.
ENTSO-E European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity is an association ofne association représentant 41 Transmission System Operators of 34 countries through Europe, going beyond UE frontiers. ENTSO-E contributes to narrow the cooperation between all european TSOs to support the set up of the politique énergétique de l'UE and to reach climatic objectives. Main objectives of ENTSO-E are focused on the integration of renewables, such as wind or solar.
ERA-Intérim ERA-interim has been derived from ERA5, produced using 4DVar data assimilation of ECMWF's Integrated Forecast System (IFS), expressely for ECEM. "adjERAI" represents a dataset that have been adjusted on observations for ECEM.

European Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment.

Database of dynamic atmospheric models, in which other systems (ocean, ice and biosphere) have been forced, meaning that there is no retro-action taken into account. For instance, an hypothesis could be the melting of the Antartic ice and its impact on climate is explored, but no retroaction on the speed of melting of the ice is considered. Read more about EURO-CORDEX. In particular, take a look to the limits of climate modeling on page 9 and on how to interpret regional climate projections on page 15.

Extreme Weather Event An extreme weather event is an event that is rare at a particular place and time of year. Definitions of rare vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile of a probability density function estimated from observations. By definition, the characteristics of what is called extreme weather may vary from place to place in an absolute sense. When a pattern of extreme weather persists for some time, such as a season, it may be classed as an extreme climate event, especially if it yields an average or total that is itself extreme (e.g., drought or heavy rainfall over a season).

The vision of Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) is for all users to have access to the climate observations, data records and information they need to address pressing climate-related concerns. GCOS users include individuals, national and international organizations, institutions and agencies. GCOS works with partners to ensure the sustained provision of reliable physical, chemical and biological observations and data records for the total climate system – across the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial domains, including hydrological and carbon cycles and the cryosphere.

GCOS specifies 54 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that are key for sustainable climate observations.

IPCC (GIEC in French)

 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. It is dedicated to the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts.

The IPCC assesses research on climate change and synthesises it into major 'assessment' reports every 5–7 years
GHG Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth's surface, the atmosphere itself, and by clouds. This property causes the greenhouse effect. Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. Moreover, there are a number of entirely human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine- and bromine-containing substances, dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
Hindcasts A hincast (or retrospective forecast) is a forecast made for a period in the past using only information available before the beginning of the forecast.
Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, at the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. It contains legally binding commitments, in addition to those included in the UNFCCC. Countries included in Annex B of the Protocol (most Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and countries with economies in transition) agreed to reduce their anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)) by at least 5% below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.

This protocol focuses on the temporal period up to 2020. It resulted in the Accord de Paris during COP21, which focuses more on the period after 2020.


Cf also Climate Models

Regional Climatic Models. A limitation of global climate models (GCMs) is their fairly coarse horizontal resolution. For most impact studies, such as evaluation of the future risks of floods or some types of landslides, droughts etc., the society requests information at a much more detailed local scale than provided by GCMs. Simply increasing the resolution is often not feasible because of constraints in available computer resources. A viable alternative is to embed a regional climate model (RCM) of higher resolution in relevant part of the GCM domain. RCM are complementary to GCM by adding further details to global climate projections, or to study climate processes in more detail than global models allow.

Within the ECEM projects, 6 RCMS are driven by 5 GCMS


Representative Concentration Pathways are scenarios that include time series of emissions and concentrations of the full suite of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols and chemically active gases, as well as land use/land cover (Moss et al., 2008). The word representative signifies that each RCP provides only one of many possible scenarios that would lead to the specific radiative forcing characteristics. The term pathway emphasises that not only the long-term concentration levels are of interest, but also the trajectory taken over time to reach that outcome (Moss et al., 2010). RCPs usually refer to the portion of the concentration pathway extending up to 2100, for which Integrated Assessment Models produced corresponding emission scenarios. Extended Concentration Pathways (ECPs) describe extensions of the RCPs from 2100 to 2500 that were calculated using simple rules generated by stakeholder consultations, and do not represent fully consistent scenarios. Four are used in the Fifth IPCC Assessment as a basis for the climate predictions ; RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5: Pathway where radiative forcing respectively peaks at approximately 3 W m-2, 4.5 W m-2, 6.0 W m-2 and 8.5 W m-2 before 2100

Reanalyses Reanalyses are estimates of historical atmospheric, hydrographic or other climate relevant quantities, created by processing past climate data using fixed state-of-the-art weather forecasting or ocean circulation models with data assimilation techniques.
Seasonal forecasts Cf Climate forecasts

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"The last report by the Intergovernemental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that anthropogenic climate change is likely to have more than doubled the probability of heat waves occurrences in some regions of the planet"

Reference: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. In ontribution of working Group I to the fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC; Cambridge University Press : Cambridge, UK; New York, USA, 2013; p.1535

"Benefit of ECEM outcomes in understanding possible impacts of climate change on solar energy potential in France"