In 2013, flooding from the Elbe River devastated the German town of Meiβen

In 2013, record-level flooding of the Elbe River inundated many towns, including  Meiβen, Germany which was also devastated by record-breaking floods in 2002. Photo: Andreas Hoy / SEI.

The findings of the ClimVis Europe project show that users of weather and climate data need climate information that is easy to access, offered in their own language, and designed to help them make connections between real-time weather events and long-term climate developments.

At present, users in Europe are aware of only a few (if any) relevant, available tools that provide them with the insights they seek about current, future and long-term meteorological trends. However, efforts to boost awareness of available tools, while important, will not be enough to meet user demands.

Providers of climate information need to consult with stakeholders to co-develop new tools to meet needs and support the uptake of information. Existing European tools have two key shortcomings: limited language and insufficient context. The provision of climate information exclusively in English excludes many users (especially at local and regional levels and in Eastern Europe and Russia). Tools do not link real-time extreme weather with long-term past or future climate trends; such connections are essential to assess climate change-related impacts and adaptation needs.

The authors interpret the results as a call to action to enhance related communication that is fundamental to the need to reduce climate risks and support adaptation.

The ClimVis Europe project sought to prepare a tailored implementation concept of a transnational, multilinguistic visualization tool of observed and projected climate information in Europe, targeted to a large range of users, including the general public.