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Regional Climate Centres

Regional Climate Centres are Centres of Excellence that assist WMO Members in a given region to deliver better climate services and products including regional long-range forecasts, and to strengthen their capacity to meet national climate information needs. Climate change and its potential impacts have boosted social demands for tailored climate services. By the same time, advances in science and technology provide a multitude of opportunities to build up sustained routines for such services. Constant scientific progress increases humankinds’ understanding and provides societies with more and more complex approaches. Accelerated technical advances offer to develop and run more and more sophisticated tools.

Climate analyses as well as seasonal and climate forecasting provide excellent examples of this evolution. Related research and operation requires huge amounts of resources in terms of, e.g. computer power, model research and know-how, IT expertise as well as interpretation capabilities. Therefore, networking and international specialization becomes more and more necessary. By the same time, this approach has a huge potential in terms of sustainability.

The concept of Regional Climate Centres offers excellent opportunities for networking by pooling certain capacities of the NMHSs and other institutes in a region by an efficient systems approach. Accordingly, each Member in a region gets sustained, operational access to the most updated climate services. Beyond that, political and economical structures get more and more transnational, and hence require regional services, which RCCs are mandated to deliver through the NMHSs. Regional services are also needed to set a context for national activities. Eventually, climate events affecting two or more national territories require regional mechanisms to ensure its proper analyses.

The primary users of an RCC are the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and other RCCs in the region and in neighboring areas. NMHSs typically use RCC products to extend or improve their service suite vis-à-vis their end user community. Only if NMHSs in a region unanimously require and agree, RCCs might serve end users directly. It is, however, important to note, that RCC responsibilities should be regional in nature and not duplicate or replace those of NMHSs. NMHSs retain the mandate and authority to provide the liaison with national user groups, and to issue advisories and warnings.

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