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Philosophy of the German Climate Portal

Philosophy

German Climate Portal - Philosophy

The German Climate Portal is hosted by the Deutscher Wetterdienst in close cooperation with its partners and is a key element in the national implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) in Germany.

The establishment of a Global Framework for Climate Services is the most important outcome of the World Climate Conference-3, which was held in Geneva from 31 August to 4 September 2009. The aim of this Framework is to help societies adapt to the impact of climate variability and climate change by improving the production, availability and application of science-based climate services.  

The Framework is implemented in five components: ‘observations and monitoring’, ‘modelling, projections and prediction’, ‘climate information’ and ‘capacity building’.

The main actors in this Framework are national meteorological services and other national institutions with responsibility for agriculture, marine issues, water management, energy, the environment, disaster risk reduction, etc., national committees and allied bodies which focus on climate-relevant issues, research institutes, non-government and private organisations, local authority entities and the general public.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is working with its partners to produce a GFCS implementation plan and governance structure; this work is being undertaken by an Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services which reports to the WMO Congress. 

In terms of the Framework objectives and challenges Germany is one of the world’s top leaders in the development of climate services; very few other countries have such comprehensive know-how, excellent infrastructure and such a good political framework. At the same time, there is still a great deal of scope for ensuring that the best possible use is made of the socio-economic potential of climate services.

The following aspects of the Framework are particularly significant for national implementation in Germany:

  • Improved provision of user-oriented climate information,
  • Strengthened integration of climate information in users' decision-making processes.

The Framework identifies the following action which needs to be taken:

1. More intensive user dialogue with the following four objectives:

  • Enhancing climate service providers' understanding of users' decision-making options,
  • Enhancing users' understanding of the possibilities and limitations of climate information,
  • Continually coordinating understanding of detailed user requirements and of the options provided by climate services, and
  • Optimising the integration of climate information in users' decision-making processes.

2. Strengthening user orientation by

  • Harmonising tools and methods of analysis, description and evaluation of climate variability and change to produce consistent and science-based information for users, and
  • Providing a coordinated scientific core package (information, products, tools, services) via a user interface (portal) taking account of relevant commercial interests. 

The sustained implementation of the GFCS in Germany calls for the consistent nationwide networking of climate service providers and the users of climate information. In this respect the Framework should be understood as a structured grouping of existing institutions (network); it offers a forum for partnerships and for dialogue with users; it governs the exchange of data and defines mechanisms for the production, dissemination and application of climate information.

The German Climate Portal is also a service and tool for achieving the objectives referred to above and facilitates access to shared and pooled climate expertise in Germany. It is tailored specifically to German structures and provides customised services to Germany's federal states (Länder) and the sectors identified in the German adaptation strategy. Last but not least, it also functions as a forum for dedicated user dialogue.

Link to GFCS-Homepage of the WMO (World Organisation for Meteorology)