Whenever an extreme weather event occurs nowadays, the question is invariably asked to which extent the event can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change; was this heat wave less likely in the past? Should such extreme rainfall, in this particular river basin, be expected to intensify in a warmer future climate? These questions are paramount to assess the impact of climate change and it is essential to give a substantiated answer that is the result of transparent scientific analysis of the data. The aim of this project is to develop a protocol for these analyses and lay the foundations of an operational service for extreme event attribution under the umbrella of the European Copernicus program.
The Netherlands eScience Center is working together with the KNMI and University of Oxford to build digital infrastructure to perform climate attribution studies. We are making climate data available in the Copernicus Data Store (CDS) and create the processing and statistical tools in the Copernicus Toolbox. Future analyses using these tools will then benefit from the massive amount of data in the CDS and have the means to construct a transparent, reproducible and well-performing workflow to compute and model climate extremes. Ultimately, these data and tools will accelerate and improve attribution studies, such that the general public can be rapidly and reliably informed about the role of climate change during extreme weather events.
This project has received funding through the EU Copernicus Programme C3S_62 Prototype extreme events contract.