The CAFE Project Held its Final Conference in Barcelona

At the end of last month, September 27th-29th, the Climate Advanced Forecasting of sub-seasonal Extremes Final Conference (CAFE) was celebrated. CAFE is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network with a consortium formed by ten international partners recruiting, hosting and interdisciplinary training a total of 12 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). The research aim of the project is to improve the predictability of extreme weather events at the sub-seasonal scale from fields such as climate science, complex networks and data analysis.

The conference was meant to bring together the project’s principal researchers and the pre-docs trained through it. It also gathered other senior scientists related to the partners of the project or working in similar topics. For a total of 7 plenary talks, 9 contributed talks and 8 ESRs presentations, they shared their latest developments. During the poster sessions and more informally in eating breaks and social events, they could discuss their different approaches to the study of extreme events. The different backgrounds of the participants were also valuable during the three round tables, two under the framework of the European Researchers Night (ERN).

The conference took place in Casa de la Convalescència in Barcelona, since one of the partners of the project is Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, a Catalan research center located in Bellaterra, near Barcelona.

On Tuesday morning, Álvaro Corral (the CAFE coordinator, researcher at CRM) and Arantxa Sanz (CRM’s Executive Director) were in charge of welcoming attendants of the conference. After that, Frederic Vitart from ECMWF, the first keynote speaker, set the scene of the project. He introduced the sub-seasonal study of extreme events and their challenges, as well as the main sources of predictability. After that, Shradda Gupta was the first ESR to present her research. During the day, 3 more of them presented the academic work of these past years, mostly focusing on the applications on prediction models and warning systems. All in all, Monday was a day with a focus on the users of climate services, with Carlo’s Buontempo (ECMWF) and Albert Soret’s (BSC) plenary talks and a round table moderated by Cèline Deàndreis (Aria Technologies) of Forecasting made with and for the Users.

The WWRP/WCRP Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Prediction project (S2S) and the prediction of extreme events – Frederic Vitart | ECMWF

Spatial synchronization patterns of extreme rainfall events in the Asian Summer Monsoon region – Shradda Gupta | PIK

Identifying large-scale dynamical precursors to European extreme precipitation – Josh Dorrington | KIT

The operational provision of climate data and tools to societal users with the Copernicus Climate Change Service – Carlo Buontempo | ECMWF

Climate services for clean energy – Albert Soret | BSC

Combined impact of ENSO and Antarctic Oscillation on austral spring precipitation in Southeastern South America (SESA) – Xinjia Hu | MPIPKS

Heatwaves over Europe: Towards an early warning system – Emmanuel Rouges | ECMWF

Ensemble weather forecast with a stochastic weather generator and analogs of the atmospheric circulation – Meriem Krouma | ARIA technologies and LSCE

Round Table: Subseasonal Forecasting of Extremes: with and for the Users with Jan Eichner (Munich Re), Albert Soret (BSC), Mario de la Fuente (Plataforma Tech del Vino) and Alejandro Martí (CEO of Mitiga). Moderated by Céline Deandreis (Aria Technologies)

Wednesday’s sessions started with Ileana Bladé’s plenary talk on evidence and hypothesis for the increase of extreme weather events in midlatitudes. The morning went on with talks related to climate change and the prospects of its impact on the climate from different perspectives: from the anthropogenic role on it, to the tools used for the simulations. After lunch the participants enjoyed a tour in the beautiful Hospital de Sant Pau modernist building.

A review of current evidence and hypotheses for the increase of extreme weather events in midlatitudes – Ileana Bladé | UB

Unified Spectrum of Tropical Rainfall and Waves in a Simple Stochastic Model – Scott Hottovy | United States Naval Academy

Analyzing the Exceptional Arctic Stratospheric Polar Vortex in 2019/2020 using Lagrangian tools – Jezabel Curbelo | UPC

Changing atmospheric circulation in a future warmer Europe – Pedro Herrera Lorméndez | TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Do climate models underestimate the circulation response to anthropogenic forcing? – Albert Ossó | University of Graz

Regionalisation of the Effects of Climate Change on Precipitation and Temperature Conditions at Local Scale in the City of Alicante (Spain) – Luis G. Cutillas | AMAEM 

On Wednesday afternoon, some scientists from the Final Conference participated in the Catalan version of the European Research Night in the same venue as the closing event. There were two round tables and 4 talks that shared the intention of making the research on the project more understandable to non-scientists and had the aim of motivating potential young climate scientists as well as giving them tips to get started in a scientific career. As a highlight, the last round table reunited 4 senior researchers from the project that gave their point of views on the new methods in meteorology and climatology, as well as, for example, climate change communication and science communication in general.

Round Table: ¿Qué hace un doctorando como tú en una red europea como esta?¿Y después? (in Spanish) with Pedro Herrera Lorméndez (TU Bergakademie Freiberg), Niclas Rieger (CRM), Mónica Minjares (CRM), Iago Pérez (Universidad de la República) and Giulio Tirabassi (UPC). Moderated by Anna Drou (CRM).

El ciclo del agua visto a través de la salinidad de la superficie del mar (in Spanish) – Estrella Olmedo | ICM.

Señales tempranas de alarma en los ecosistemas y el clima (in Spanish) – Noémie Ehstand | IFISC-CSIC.

El uso de imágenes satelitales en el estudio de eventos climáticos extremos (in Spanish) – Mónica Minjares | CRM.

Predicción de eventos meteorológicos extremos mediante rastreo de paquetes de Ondas de Rossby (in Spanish) – Iago Pérez | Universidad de la República.

Round Table: Nuevos métodos en meteorología y climatología (in Spanish) with Marcelo Barreiro (Universidad de la República), Ileana Bladé (UB), Emilio Hernández-García (IFISC-CSIC) and Cristina Masoller (UPC). Moderated by Daniel Ramos (CRM).

Wednesday was a last powerful day with several plenary and contributed talks that addressed issues such as drivers behind weather extreme events, how climate change has potentially been affecting some of them, how these drivers affect large-scale circulations, and more on complex systems models and statistical methods to predict weather extremes.

During the three days of the conference, a wide variety of topics related to extreme weather events and the methods to improve their prediction in a sub-seasonal timescale were discussed in different formats. It was an encounter that grouped most of the participants in the CAFE project as well as opened to the research community with shared interests. The Conference was an important milestone of the CAFE project, that was helpful to put in common the work of the pre-docs and partners from the last three years.

At this stage of the project, it is close to its finalization. However, there are some things left to do to report the scientific outcomes. Next steps to collect and organize all the results of the project are to develop an exploitation roadmap of the outputs of the project to make sure that they reach different users, from businesses to government agencies. Another deliverable will be a summary of the findings to be used by policy makers.

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