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last modified Jun 27, 2016 06:51 PM
ENSEMBLE-based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts

Contact: Paul van der Linden , John Mitchell
Start: Sep 01, 2004
End: Dec 31, 2009
Lead: UKMO (United Kingdom)
Participants: 71 partners from 20 countries
Funded by: EU FP6-SUSTDEV
Cost: 22790 k€
Funding: 15000 k€
Homepage: www.ensembles-eu.org
Download: ensembles-eu.metoffice.com
Contributing Institutes
click here to see the list of partners
Component models used
HC-OGCM: representing the Ocean
ORCA: representing the Ocean
MPIOM: representing the Ocean
HOPE-G: representing the Ocean
NEMO/OPA8: representing the Ocean
HC-AGCM: representing the Atmosphere
ECHAM: representing the Atmosphere
ARPEGE: representing the Atmosphere
DKC: representing the Atmosphere
Earth system modelling tools used

Project Description

About 70 European and International institutions joined efforts to:

  • Develop an ensemble prediction system for climate change based on the principal state-of-the-art, high resolution, global and regional Earth System models developed in Europe, validated against quality controlled, high resolution gridded datasets for Europe, to produce for the first time, an objective probabilistic estimate of uncertainty in future climate at the seasonal to decadal and longer timescales
  • Quantify and reduce the uncertainty in the representation of physical, chemical, biological and human-related feedbacks in the Earth System (including water resource, land use, and air quality issues, and carbon cycle feedbacks)
  • Maximise the exploitation of the results by linking the outputs of the ensemble prediction system to a range of applications, including agriculture, health, food security, energy, water resources, insurance and weather risk management


Prediction of both natural climate variability and human impact on climate is inherently probabilistic, due to uncertainties in forecast initial conditions, representation of key processes within models, and climatic forcing factors. Hence, reliable estimates of climatic risk can only be made through ensemble integrations of Earth System Models in which these uncertainties are explicitly incorporated. For the first time ever, a common ensemble forecast system will be developed for use across a range of timescales (seasonal, decadal, and longer) and spatial scales (global, regional, and local). This model system will be used to construct integrated scenarios of future climate change, including both non-intervention and stabilisation scenarios. This will provide a basis for quantitative risk assessment of climate change and climate variability, with emphasis on changes in extremes, including changes in storminess and precipitation, and the severity and frequency of drought, and the effects of "surprises", such as the shutdown of the thermohaline circulation. Most importantly, the model system will be extensively validated. Hind casts made by the model system for the 20th century will be compared against quality-controlled, high-resolution girded datasets for Europe. Probability forecasts made with the model system on the seasonal and decadal timescales will also be validated against existing data. The exploitation of the results will be maximised by linking the outputs of the ensemble prediction system to a wide range of applications. In turn, feedbacks from these impact areas back to the climate system will also be addressed. Thus ENSEMBLES will have a structuring effect on European research by bringing together an unprecedented spectrum of world-leading expertise. This expertise will be mobilised to maintain and extend European pre-eminence in the provision of policy-relevant information on climate and climate change and its interactions with society.


Resulting tools

ENSEMBLES web portal: see http://www.ensembles-eu.org/

ENSEMBLES downscaling portal: see http://grupos.unican.es/ai/meteo/ensembles/index.html


Resulting data

For all results of ENSEMBLES: see http://www.ensembles-eu.org/

ENSEMBLES RT1 results: see http://old.ecmwf.int/research/EU_projects/ENSEMBLES/results/index.html   

ENSEMBLES RT2A results: see http://mud.dkrz.de/projects-at-md/ensembles/

ENSEMBLES RT4 results: see http://climate.ncas.ac.uk/research/ensembles-rt4/results/results.html 

ENSEMBLES data archives: http://ensembles-eu.metoffice.com/data.html

Most of these information have been collected from ENSEMBLES´s homepage .They have been last updated on Jun 27, 2016
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