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Published: 19.02.2024
Oppdatert: 21.02.2024

Katrine Jaklin

Climate Futures is a centre for research-based innovation (SFI-centre) developing climate prediction from 10 days to 10 years ahead in time. The aim is better management of climate risk in weather- and climate exposed sectors.

More extreme weather events and phenomena resulting from climate change pose a serious threat to our economy, welfare, and society as a whole. Yet, climate risk is not adequately managed. Knowledge gaps and deficiencies in decision-making processes in both industry and public sectors delay progress. Therefore, the center has established long-term collaborations between the private sector, public sector, service and industry organizations, and research institutions, and is currently working with nearly 40 partners from various climate- and weather exposed sectors.

Andreas Graven, NORCE, Øyvind Paasche, Director of Climate Futures and SVP Climate Dynamics in NORCE, Øyvind Paasche bredde profilfoto, ,

Andreas Graven, NORCE

Øyvind Paasche, Director of Climate Futures and SVP Climate Dynamics in NORCE


After spending the first two years developing innovation areas and testing methodologies from scratch, the center has now developed services and products that are relevant to the users. The projects have been organized into four innovation areas: Smart Shipping, Sustainable Food Production, Renewable Energy, and Resilient Societies, or span across several of these. Representatives from research, regulatory agencies and industry collaborate in the projects.

Co-creation has proven to be a key to innovation and development, says Øyvind Paasche, who is the director of Climate Futures:

We must ensure that we are relevant collaboration partners. We see increasing interest across nodes and professional disciplines. There is enormous potential in creating good problem statements, but research cannot be a one-way system. The center's success depends on dialogue and good collaboration. That's why we have placed some of our researchers within the companies, for example, one day a week. The researchers then become part of the community and talk to people with different professional backgrounds. This creates much greater awareness within the companies, and we build the trust that is critical for us to achieve results, says Paasche.

The researchers believe there is significant potential for developing new ideas and projects, contingent upon active engagement and ownership. Organizations need to view this as an integral aspect of their broader risk assessment framework. They should actively participate in identifying various challenges, devising solutions, and implementing them effectively. What insights have we gleaned from past extreme weather events? Enhanced understanding equips us better to address such challenges.

During the late summer, Storm Hans ravaged several regions of Southern Norway, highlighting areas that need strengthening. Experience serves as a valuable teacher, better preparing us to confront future challenges. Stakeholders that don't look for new solutions miss out on valuable learning opportunities. This applies equally to the development and utilization of forecasts. We are interested in understanding how stakeholders leverage the climate forecasts we develop and exploring areas for further development. Many users have already deepened their understanding of the extent of climate change, its rapid onset, and strategies for adaptation, adds Paasche in conclusion.

Project: Predicting Future European Wind Resource

A wind farm that is approved today may not become operational for another 10 years. Following that, the expectation is for the wind farm to generate energy for at least 30 years. Considering a time horizon of 40-50 years, it is important to be able to make predictions about how we expect the wind to behave in the coming decades. In the wind industry, it is common to rely on historical data when making investments and decisions regarding new wind energy projects. How much did the wind blow last year? What were the wind conditions like over the past decade? Or, what about the previous 30 years? Depending on the historical time frame you use, you will get different answers because the wind varies.

Wind varies on time scales ranging from milliseconds to large climatic systems that last for several decades. It is the variations on long time scales (several decades) that we are investigating in the project "Predicting Future European Wind Resource". Since the wind itself is so volatile and dynamic, it is difficult to predict. Therefore, we are trying to leverage how long-term fluctuations in the wind are influenced by other more predictable climatic signals, such as sea surface temperatures. We then use this relationship to indicate how European wind conditions will be in the future.

The project is a collaboration between climate researchers and wind energy experts at NORCE and Statkraft, with support from statisticians at NHH. The researchers aim to create a prediction model that forecasts wind conditions in Europe up to 2050. We hope the project can help the industry, initially Statkraft, reduce the economic uncertainty associated with future wind conditions when investing in new wind energy projects.

Contact person
Ida Marie Solbrekke

Forecasting Engine Researcher - Bergen

+47 56 10 75 88

Projects: Sustainable Agriculture

Agricultural production is largely influenced by weather and climate. Almost no other industry is as vulnerable to extreme weather events. This impacts not just the agricultural sector but the entire society. In many parts of the country, the 2023 growing season was an example of this. Drought in the spring and a very wet summer created significant challenges. A particular focus in the agricultural sector has been on developing reliable and user-friendly long-term weather forecasts for the benefit of farmers. Through working groups, observations, and interviews, the industry has tested and provided feedback on historical weather data to identify climate-related factors that affect activity and results, both at the farm level and further along the supply chain. This information is used, among other things, to further develop long-term weather forecasts. During the season, long-term forecasts from Climate Futures were distributed weekly to Norway's Agricultural Advisory Service (Norsk Landbruksrådgiving), the County Governor, and directly to farmers. The results from Climate Futures are actively used in advisory services, with the goal of increasing preparedness and creating tools for better management of climate risk.

In another project, we worked closely with Gartnerhallen, the Norwegian Computing Center (Norsk Regnesentral), and regional packing facilities. We built a weather-dependent fruit production model that is updated throughout the year as new weather data becomes available. The model was used to improve production forecasts and was used in decision-making both at the packing facilities and at Gartnerhallen.

Additionally, we work directly with private companies like Graminor. It takes many years to develop new varieties. But what will the future climate look like? And what kind of weather must our food plants withstand? We integrate field experiments, genomic sequencing, and historical weather data to build a model that can predict how well a crop line will thrive in a future climate. The goal is to create a climate-resilient food system with the highest possible degree of self-sufficiency. Today only 3% of Norway's land is arable, and we rank last in terms of self-sufficiency.

Contact person
Manuel Hempel

Forecasting Engine PhD student - Bergen

+47 56 10 75 24

Project: River Flow Forecasts for Power Production

This collaborative initiative within the Climate Futures SFI, involving Småkraft, the Norwegian Computing Center (Norsk Regnesentral), and NORCE, focuses on predicting river flow in regions where Småkraft operates its power plants. Småkraft's plants are typically situated along small rivers, where historical flow measurements are often scarce. This lack of data also poses challenges for hydrological model simulations, which require sufficient calibration data. In our project, we address this obstacle by calibrating a model using data from similar rivers in Norway, for which observations from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) are available.

Our method demonstrates comparable accuracy in flow estimation to models calibrated with direct observations. Combining this approach with Met Norway's innovative 21-day forecast, developed in collaboration with Climate Futures, allows us to provide river flow forecasts up to three weeks ahead. These forecasts aid Småkraft in anticipating future power production. Updated daily, the forecasts are accessible via an online dashboard with a user-friendly interface indicating favorable, unfavorable, or hazardous conditions. Continuous feedback from Småkraft operators will help refine the dashboard's design for practical use. This climate service supports not only hydropower decision-making but also has the potential for early flood warnings in other regions with limited data availability. Further evaluation, especially during extreme events, will however be crucial for maximizing the system's effectiveness in flood risk management.

Contact person
Ole Wulff

Regional Climate and Climate Services Post Doc - Bergen

+47 56 10 75 67

Photo header: Khamkéo Vilaysing/Unsplash.com