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Exploring climate model data

Seasonal to decadal predictions

Seasonal-to-decadal climate prediction seeks to quantify the likely evolution or change of the climate system over a specific time horizon of months to years. Climate predictions based on dynamical models incorporate all relevant processes to the extent possible, including anthropogenic climate change, but most importantly those processes that govern the likely evolution of natural climate variability (see internal variability). One of the main modes of climate variability that determines predictability at seasonal time scale is ENSO. Seasonal and decadal predictions, more than climate projections, rely on (large) ensembles, and the forecasts are thus probabilistic in nature. That means the predictions describe the probability of a given magnitude of change in the mean climate or changes in the characteristics of the weather over the forecast period. See factsheet Climate forecast reliability.

What is a seasonal prediction?

A seasonal prediction aims to estimate the change in the likelihood of a climatic event happening in the coming months. Seasonal forecasts are constructed using either initialised global climate models, or statistical models (empirical relations between a selection of climate indicators), or both in the case of multi model systems (see e.g. see example ENSO forecast). Forecasts provide estimates of seasonal averages of weather conditions, typically up to three months ahead, and so provide an idea of how likely a forthcoming season will be wetter, drier, warmer, or colder than normal. See factsheet Seasonal prediction.

What is a decadal prediction?

Decadal predictions are made using a computer model which combines our best estimate of the current state of the earth system with projections of external factors. Unlike century - scale climate change projections, decadal forecasts are initialised, meaning the oceans, ice and atmosphere in the model are matched to real world observations at the start of the forecast. This is necessary to predict the internal variability that is inherent in the Earth system (such as El Niño), in addition to variability driven by external factors (such as greenhouse gases and aerosols). See factsheet.

Seasonal-to-decadal climate Prediction for the improvement of European Climate Services

The SPECS project is to deliver a new generation of European climate forecast systems with improved forecast quality and efficient regionalisation tools to produce reliable, local climate information over land at seasonal-to-decadal (s2d) time scales, while providing an enhanced communication to address the needs of a wide range of both public and private stakeholders. See factsheet EU FP7 project SPECS. Have also a look at this presentation on finding and visualizing seasonal to decadal data on this portal.

The data you find under project "SPECS" on this portal are not


The IS-ENES project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.