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The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) pursues extensive scientific and technical collaboration, in particular with its Member States, with satellite agencies and with the European Commission. It participates in several programmes of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and contributes to climate monitoring in cooperation with the climate community.

Member States

ECMWF has developed strong scientific and technical collaboration with its Member States. The main areas of collaboration are the processing of observations, the monitoring and assimilation of satellite data, the optimisation of the observing system, the non-hydrostatic dynamical cores, the physical parametrizations, the multi‑model ensembles, the atmospheric composition and the verification methods for severe weather.

ECMWF is involved in cooperative projects with Member States on applications of weather forecasts in various sectors. It supports the Member State research community in its wider use of ECMWF’s system and endeavours to strengthen the already good collaboration with the academic community. Work to define suitable verification methods for early warnings of severe weather takes place in close cooperation with the Member States and with the relevant WMO groups.

As the leading provider of global numerical weather prediction, ECMWF is a key component of the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EUMETNET, EUMETSAT, ECMWF). ECMWF collaborates closely with EUMETNET on several projects, with particular emphasis on EUCOS, by monitoring the observing system and performing global observing system experiments. It supports work on interoperability between European modelling systems (SRNWP). ECMWF seeks synergies between its own activities in global reanalysis and the EUMETNET activities in regional reanalysis.

A multi-model seasonal forecasting system (EUROSIP) is based on forecasts from ECMWF, the Met Office and Météo-France. Benefits include forecasts of high impact weather several weeks in advance, for instance, of heat waves and cold outbreaks, droughts, and rainfall anomalies, which impact on crop yields and the occurrence of diseases, such as epidemic malaria in parts of Africa.

Short-range forecasts (a few hours to a few days) rely on very high-resolution limited‑area models operated by the National Meteorological Services (NMS), often using boundary condition data from ECMWF. Such systems are mainly developed as cooperative projects under three large European consortia (ALADIN, HIRLAM and COSMO).

Satellite organisations

Its special relationship with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Space Agency (ESA) is crucial for ECMWF to benefit fully from satellite data and to provide feedback on the current and future satellite products from EUMETSAT and ESA. The Centre also maintains strong scientific and technical cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA).

European Commission

The Centre's most important area of cooperation with the European Commission is the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. ECMWF is currently coordinating the EU-funded project MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate), which is developing comprehensive data analysis and modelling systems for monitoring the global distributions of atmospheric constituents important for climate, air quality and UV radiation. ECMWF is prepared to co-ordinate the GMES Atmosphere Service (GAS), which will provide coherent information on atmospheric variables and deliver services covering air quality, greenhouse gases, stratospheric ozone and solar radiation from 2014 onwards.

ECMWF is also a partner in other GMES core services (ocean, land and risks) and it will contribute to the planned climate services.

ECMWF collaborates with other organisations of the European Union, in particular with the European Environment Agency (EEA), with a view to developing further collaboration. ECMWF provides support to the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Union for testing the European Flood Alert System (EFAS) and developing scenarios for an operational implementation. It helps the Member States to develop applications of the monthly and seasonal forecasts.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

ECMWF contributes to WMO Committees, Working Groups and Expert Groups, especially on issues related to the World Weather Watch.

ECMWF invests significantly in developing an infrastructure for TIGGE, the THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble. This is a key component of THORPEX, a Global Atmospheric Research Programme aimed at enhancing international collaboration between operational centres and academia on the development of ensemble prediction.

Climate monitoring

ECMWF cooperates with the climate science community, one specific area being reanalysis. The next reanalysis project aims to produce a climate-oriented reanalysis and is scheduled for 2009 to 2012. This project has considerable potential to deliver the most reliable estimates of regional temperature and humidity trends over the period 1930 to the present. The scope of the reanalysis activity will be progressively extended through cooperation with the relevant institutes in the Member States to include atmospheric chemistry, the oceans and the continental surfaces. This will provide access to, inter alia, a detailed history of the ozone hole, or an accurate account of the most severe droughts of the last century in various parts of the world.

ECMWF collaborates with the EC-Earth consortium, which aims at developing a new Earth System Model. The goal of EC-Earth is to build a fully coupled Atmosphere-Ocean-Land-Biosphere model, usable from seasonal to decadal climate prediction and climate projections. The proposed Earth System Model builds upon the Centre’s world-leading modelling technology, and aims to implement the emerging concept of “seamless prediction”.

ECMWF has also developed cooperation with the International Research Institute (IRI) to make best use of the Centre’s seasonal predictions.


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