By Editor

On September 21st took place the Copernicus and Climate Adaptation Workshop. Its main goal was to discuss climate adaptation challenges and opportunities within Copernicus, the Earth observation part of the European Union's Space program, aiming to encourage the use of Copernicus data among stakeholders in climate adaptation.

As part of part of the session on the global and European policy landscape of climate adaptation, Ángel G. Muñoz, co-leader of the Climateurope2 Project and head of the Climate Services Team (CST) at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, held a talk on 'Climate adaptation: a multifaceted challenge around the world'. During this talk, there was a valuable discussion about the importance of aligning adaptation and mitigation strategies. Muñoz emphasized the need for standards, protocols, and recommendations to guarantee fit-for-purpose climate services across timescales. These measures can prevent conflicting adaptation strategies that may lead to maladaptation and support the European Commission's work.

A gradual, multi-faceted adaptation

Muñoz highlighted the need for gradual, multi-faceted adaptation to climate change and natural climate variability. He explained that this adaptation requires a fair understanding of the complexity of climate processes. This understanding should not only cover climate hazards but also how they interact with anthropogenic and natural climate variations, ecosystems, and people. Additionally, since policy decisions are usually taken considering different timeframes, he stressed the need of integrating adaptation strategies across different timescales.

To make this concept more accessible, Muñoz used a metaphor, comparing climate to an orchestra performing a symphony. In this orchestra, climate change is just one instrument, like the background drums, while natural climate variations, such as El Niño or La Niña, play the role of the foreground violins. During their performance, instruments don't act in isolation but harmoniously interact throughout the composition.

A call for the standarisation of climate services

In order to make the best informed decisions in this gradual and multi-faceted adaptation to climate change, Muñoz also emphasized the importance of having quality-assured climate services based on the best climate information (and other types of information) available. In this sense, Climateurope2 is working on establishing protocols and guidelines to ensure the quality of climate services, looking at the role that standards can have promoting the adoption of quality-assured climate services for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.