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Science for climate services

December 2016: a thick pollution layer covering Ile de France and Paris as seen from Saclay

The development of climate services and interaction with society require the investigation of a number of scientific and communication aspects. Discussion with professionals external to the scientific community, or with scientists from other disciplines, reveals specific scientific questions and requirements from the science community. The first requirement is that of confidence, and that scientists are able to provide an in-depth understanding of the phenomena and the information they provide. New questions also arise, which still find little answer. This calls for a specific activity linking climate science with the challenge of fulfilling these requirements

Along the past four years the ESTIMR team has developed a few example of impact studies involving a dialogue with external professionals. This activity is in addition to the development of statistical tools such as bias correction and downscaling, which already develops scientific aspects useable for climate services. This has led to several projects and contracts, and a number of applicative studies have been conducted. We have focused essentially on activities in four sectors: energy, insurance, agriculture and health.

Energy: the ESTIMR team has led several projects related to the energy sector. After the E3P Climate-KiC project designed to develop example indicators of extremes relevant to the energy sector, ESTIMR has led the SEEN project (ANR), where the idea was to develop scenarios of most extreme heat waves. The team then led one of the first Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) projects dedicated to build a demonstrator of climate product for the energy sector. A new set of bias-corrected variables was developed for the industry, together with energy indicators co-designed with the partners of the project and their industry co-designers, see To better communicate with users, a visualization tool has been developed Within IMPACT2C (see eg. Vautard et al., 2014; Jacob et al., 2018), ESTIMR was also the lead of the energy sector, and has investigated particularly the impacts of climate change on renewables (Tobin et al., 2014, 2015, 2018; Jerez et al., 2016). Science questions relating the interactions between weather, climate and the presence of large-scale wind farms were developed (Vautard et al., 2014; Miller et al., 2016).

Agriculture: One project was devoted to Agriculture over the past years, ORACLE, nationally funded (ANR). We developed, in coordination with INRA, eco-climatic indicators that allow translating changes in climate into changes in meteorological stress throughout the development of the crops’ growth cycle. Such indicators allow anticipate the risks of decrease in crop yields, but also to anticipate potential upcoming opportunities for new crops in specific areas.

Insurance: The ESTIMR team participated to the OASIS project (Climate KIC) to define an open source platform of climate risk assessment. We developed a module to generate large ensembles of extra-tropical storms. A simplified version of this catalogue is available on the OASIS Hub platform ( We have built contacts with French insurance companies through training in atmospheric sciences. This has lead to the shaping of a report of the Fédération Française des Sociétés d’Assurance (FFSA) for scenarios of cost estimates of atmospheric hazards in France, based on state-of-the-art regional climate simulations. This report gives recommendations to French insurance companies to design their long-term policies.

Health: several projects have been conducted, with the GIS Climat or FP7 projects (ATOPICA, IMPACT2C). The impacts of climate change on ragweed pollens have been demonstrated for the first time for Europe (Hamaoui-Laguel et al., 2015), and the impact of climate change on air quality have been studied (Fortems-Cheiney et al., 2016; Colette et al., 2016; Lacressonniere et al., 2015, 2016). In addition, the question of the cold and heat waves impacts have been investigated in several studies (Schwartz et al., 2016; Kinney et al., 2016; Zhao et al., 2015; Zhao et al., 2016)

In addition to sectoral research studies, the consolidation of the partnership with Météo-France in designing a national climate service has been made (Vautard et al., 2012; Ouzeau et al., 2016). For the first time, the WRF regional model was applied to climate projections at high resolution for the European domain (Vautard et al., 2013; Jacob et al., 2014, and other follow-up papers). Through IPSL, Estimr is now leading the “Convention Services Climatiques” designed to develop prototype services in different sectors in co-lead with Météo-France.



Tobin, I., Greuell W., Jerez S., Ludwig F., Vautard R., van Vliet M.T.H., and Bréon F.-M., 2017: Vulnerabilities and resilience of European power generation to 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C warming, Environ. Res. Lett., in press.

Jacob, D., +11 authors (2017): Climate impacts in Europe under +1.5oC global warming, Earth’s Future, doi: 10.1002/2017EF000710.

Raimonet, M., Oudin, L.; Thieu, V., Silvestre, M., Vautard, R., Rabouille, C., and P. Moigne, 2017: Evaluation of reanalysis datasets for hydrological modelling. J. Hydrometeorol., in press.

Fortems-Cheiney, A., G. Foret, G. Siour, R. Vautard, S. Szopa, G. Dufour, A. Colette, G. Lacressonniere and M. Beekmann, 2017 : A 3°C global RCP8.5 emission trajectory annihilates the benefits of European emission reductions on air quality. Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00075-9.

Lacressonnière, G. +13 authors (2017). Particulate matter air pollution in a +2°C warming world. Atmos. Environ., 154, 129-140.

Ouzeau, G., J.-M. Soubeyroux, M. Schneider, R. Vautard and S. Planton, 2016: Heat waves analysis over France in present and future climate : application of a new method on the EURO-CORDEX ensemble. Climate Services, Climate Services, 4, 1-12.

Watson, L., +10 authors, 2016: The impact of emissions and +2°C climate change upon future ozone and nitrogen dioxide over Europe. Atmos. Environ., 142, 271-285

Lake, I. R., +10 authors, 2016: Climate change and future pollen allergy in Europe. Environ. Health. Persp., 125(3), 385

Zhao Y., B. Sultan, R. Vautard, P. Braconnot, H.J. Wang and A. Ducharne, 2015: Potential escalation of heat-related working costs with climate and socio-economic changes in China. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 113, 4640-4645.

Tobin, I., +11 authors (2016) Climate change impacts on the power generation potential of a European mid-century wind farms scenario. Environ. Res. Lett., 11(3), 034013.

Lacressonnière G, +12 authors, Impacts of regional climate change on air quality projections and associated uncertainties, , Climatic change, 136(2), 309-324

Balog, I., P. M. Ruti, I. Tobin, V. Armenio, and R. Vautard, 2016: A numerical approach for planning offshore wind farms from regional to local scales over the Mediterranean. Renewable Energy, 85, 395-405.

Jerez, S., +14 authors, 2015: The impact of climate change on photovoltaic power generation in Europe, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms10014.

Zhao Y., A. Ducharne, B. Sultan, P. Braconnot, and R. Vautard, 2015: Modeling climate change impacts on human heat stress: present-day biases and future uncertainties in CMIP5. Environ. res. Lett., 10, 084013

Miller, L. M., N. A. Brunsell, D. B. Mechem, F. Gans, A. J. Monaghan, R. Vautard, D. W. Keith, and A. Kleidon, 2014: Two methods for estimating limits to large-scale wind power generation. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 112, 11169-11174.

Kinney, P., Schwartz, J., Pascal, M., Petkova, E. Le Tertre, A. Medina, S. and Vautard, R., Winter Season Mortality: Will Climate Warming Bring Benefits?, 2015 Environ. Res. Lett., 10, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/6/064016.

Hamaoui-Laguel, L., +12 authors, 2015: Effects of climate change and seed dispersal on airborne ragweed pollen loads in Europe. Nature Climate Change, 5, 766-U186.

Jerez, S., +5 authors, 2015: The CLIMIX model: a tool to create and evaluate spatially-resolved scenarios of photovoltaic and wind power development. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 42, 1-15.

Tobin, I., +8 authors, 2015: Assessing climate change impacts on European wind energy from ENSEMBLES high-resolution climate projections. Climatic Change, 128, 99-112.

Lee, M., F. Nordio, A. Zanobetti, P. Kinney, R. Vautard and J. Schwartz, 2014: Acclimatization across space and time in the effects of temperature on mortality. Environ. Health, 13, 89.

Vautard R., +8 authors, 2014 : Regional climate model simulations indicate limited climatic impacts by operational and planned European wind farms, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms4196

Jacob, D., +37 authors, 2014, EURO-CORDEX: New high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research, Regional Environmental change, 14, 563-578.

Colette, A., +10 authors, (2013) European atmosphere in 2050, a regional air quality and climate perspective under CMIP5 scenarios. Atmos. Chem. and Phys., 13, 7451-7471.

Vautard, R., +25 authors, 2012 : The simulation of European heat waves from an ensemble of regional climate models within the EURO-CORDEX project. Climate Dynamics, 41, 2555-2575.

Vautard, R., T. Noël, L. Li, M. Vrac, E. Martin, P. Dandin, and S. Joussaume, 2013 : Climate variability and trends in downscaled high-resolution simulations and projections over metropolitan France. Clim. Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1621-8.

Caubel, J., Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri, I., Vivant, A. C., Launay, M., & de Noblet-Ducoudré, N. (2017). Assessing future meteorological stresses for grain maize in France. Agricultural Systems.

Caubel, J., +6 authors (2015). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Broadening the scope for ecoclimatic indicators to assess crop climate suitability according to ecophysiological , technical and quality criteria, 207, 94–106.



Maj : 26/03/2018 (158)

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