One of the proposals presented at COP26 is to create regional climate scenarios to adapt to climate change.
“Although climate and weather are not the same, meteorology has a lot to say in the global climate challenge. Improving the collection of reliable data, enabling more accurate forecasts and, above all, cooperation between meteorological authorities on a cross-border phenomenon, can have a positive impact on the lives of many people by enabling them to anticipate (and prepare for) extreme events or make decisions for climate risk-sensitive economic development,”, explains Cecilia Castillo, director of climate governance on the EUROCLIMA+ programme, the flagship European Union programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America, whose objective is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, and investment. With this programme, the FIIAPP has mobilised the expertise of meteorologists from the AEMET, which is attached to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, and the World Meteorological Organization.
Since the creation of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), cooperation in meteorology has proved to be a key element in enabling them to achieve their goals. This cooperation is especially relevant in the Ibero-American environment, where AEMET has been collaborating with NMHSs for more than 50 years. This relationship was formalised in 2003 with the creation of the Ibero-American Meteorological Cooperation Programme and its management body, the Conference of Directors of Ibero-American NMHSs (CIMHET), as well as its annual and multi-year action plans. For the development of these action plans, cooperation with FIIAPP has been crucial, contributing to the development of projects aimed at institutional strengthening of NMHSs and capacity building to improve the provision of weather and climate services to society and access to various funding mechanisms.
Likewise, cooperation carried out from CIMHET has meant multiple advantages such as: the possibility of carrying out common and coordinated actions in the international environment via the Ibero-American Meteorological Services Community; having a regional and national dialogue on weather and climate issues, which allows the rationalisation of the provision of services and the understanding of them by users; in the establishment of inter-sectoral projects with the other two Ibero-American networks, the Ibero-American Network of the Office of Climate Change (RIOCC) and the Conference of Ibero-American Water Directors (CODIA); and also in the promotion of Spanish in international organisations, especially in those that have a greater technical-scientific component, as in the case of the WMO.
Climate scenarios are climate estimates based on GHG estimates, aerosols, and other factors that affect the radiation balance. “But we had quite a problem: these spatial resolutions are made using global scales of hundreds of kilometres, which are too broad. In order to get more specific data at a higher resolution or more precise information for each geographic area, this scale had to be reduced. The regionalisation of scenarios involves collecting data series from various countries, generating scenarios using different methods of regionalisation, and using this information in analyses at different scales. By using the same methodology for the region, comparable scenarios have been obtained, for example, between Honduras and Costa Rica or between Guatemala and Panama. This is what we have achieved by sitting down and working together as meteorologists from the National Meteorological Services of Spain and Central America,” explains Jorge Tamayo, the officer for AEMET (an institution mobilised with the FIIAPP) in the Valencian Community and secretary for the Conference of Directors of Ibero-American Meteorological and Hydrological Services (CIMHET). Tamayo will participate this morning in the panel on the subject in the framework of COP 26 in Glasgow.
“There is invaluable technical knowledge to address adaptation to climate change in different countries. There is an urgent need to disseminate and share this knowledge, with the aim of creating stronger public institutions and systems that work for people and the planet.”, concludes Castillo.