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Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SECLI-FIRM (The Added Value of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Integrated Risk Management Decisions )


The Added Value of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Integrated Risk Management (SECLI-FIRM) is an EU H2020 funded 42-month project launched in February 2018 and due to end in July 2021. The project is demonstrating how the use of improved climate forecasts, out to several months...


The Added Value of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Integrated Risk Management (SECLI-FIRM) is an EU H2020 funded 42-month project launched in February 2018 and due to end in July 2021. The project is demonstrating how the use of improved climate forecasts, out to several months ahead, can add practical and economic value to decision-making processes and outcomes, primarily in the energy sector, but also in the water sector.

The practical application of seasonal forecasting and the benefits this brings to industry end-users is being demonstrated through nine industry case studies (see Figure below). for Europe and South America (especially Colombia), focusing on recent seasons with anomalous/extreme climate conditions leading to problematic and quantifiable impacts for the energy and/or water industry. The case studies have been co-designed by industrial and research partners. Further information, including a 4-page brochure for each of the case study, is available on the project website:

SECLI-FIRM also works with a number of external ‘committed stakeholders’ from the energy and water industries, including Shell, Celsia, Enerfin, TenneT, National Grid and Thames Water. These stakeholders pro-actively contribute to the case studies, which are the building blocks and final objectives of the project. A representative for each of these committed stakeholders also sits on the SECLI-FIRM Advisory Board. The involvement of all these globally-leading industry experts is ensuring that the route to impact for the SECLI-FIRM solutions is clear and the impact is maximised.

The SECLI-FIRM project objectives are:
1. Characterization of the end-user requirements and associated decision-making issues for a wide range of stakeholders.
2. Optimization of the climate prediction performance targeted at the case studies considered.
3. Quantification of the value-adding of climate forecast to decision-making. A range of case studies will be investigated with industry co-designers to evaluate the benefits of the optimized seasonal products.
4. Real-time application of seasonal forecasts for integration within the industries’ decision processes.

The figure below shows the diagram of the SECLI-FIRM project work package overview description and the inter-relationships amongst the WPs.

Work performed

The work of SECLI-FIRM started with the refinement of the nine case study requirements (WP1). With the ultimate aim to precisely identify how climate information is used in the decision making of the industry partners and stakeholders involved in the case studies, so that the value of improved seasonal forecast can be evaluated, SECLI-FIRM has defined the needs of energy stakeholders in terms of meteorological variables and predictability, accounting for all SECLI-FIRM industry co-designers’ requirements. SECLI-FIRM has achieved:

i) The definition of the meteorological variables of interest for the stakeholders. They have been chosen based upon their impacts on the relevant case study domain. They provide the basis of the WP2 activities through the definition of the spatial resolution of each predictand according to the needs of all industry co-designers and the limits of model skill, drawing on the state of the art of current scientific capability
ii) The identification of current decision making processes applied to energy and water management and hedging evaluations based on climate-driven energy and water forecasts according to procedures adopted by all industry co-designers. This has been achieved via a number of methods and discussions including the development of decision making trees for each of the case studies.

SECLI-FIRM exploits the multi-model ensemble approach to go beyond current limitations of prediction performance of individual models for the key climate variables considered in the case studies. A multi-model seasonal prediction dataset from independent sources has been put together during the first phase of the project. This unique dataset includes the global output of relevant variables from up to ten seasonal forecast models (depending on the variable and temporal resolution) and is available to all partners on a High-Performance Computer platform. The current dataset includes models from Copernicus Climate Change Service, from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble, and from the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The scientific work performed in WP2, aimed at the optimization of climate prediction performance, includes: i) the assessment of the performance and upgrades of forecasting models in the representation of large-scale patterns and main teleconnections; ii) the development of a new metric, the Brier score covariance, which estimates the relative independence of two separate prediction systems; iii) the investigation of the use of weather types especially for UK-based case studies, to allow make forecasts coherently for several meteorological variables at once and to forecast changes in the distribution of daily data within a season; iv) the assessment and refinement of downscaling techniques, based on merging physical and empirical approaches, which can perform better in each single use cases; v) the evaluation of the predictability of high-risk extreme climate events of relevance to the case studies through new methodologies for assessing the stationarity of the extreme event distribution.

The quantification of the value-add of seasonal climate forecast has been investigated for each case study (WP3) through both an objective validation of the improvement in seasonal forecasting, and a subjective validation of the improvement of decision process to portfolio management. WP3 has designed, documented and shared a set of tailoring techniques to process forecast data to be integrated directly in econometric models and decision making processes. Such tailoring techniques are being implemented for each case study, which range from energy portfolio management, to hydropower generation prediction, to planning decisions and optimisation of use of vessels for offshore maintenance campaigns, to the effect of the dry springs and summer of water restrictions. The benefits of the optimized seasonal products are being assessed by analysing and comparing the outcomes where seasonal forecasts have been applie

Final results

Although work on the design of pilot climate service application for each case study, one of the key exploitable objectives of the project, has not commenced yet, SECLI-FIRM has started to assess how to best deliver the climate services for each case study. The overall approach taken with SECLI-FIRM is to pursue the most effective uptake of climate services, using the most appropriate methodology for each case, acknowledging the fact that a single solution would not be a good fit for all case studies. SECLI-FIRM assumption is that by adopting tailored solutions a more robust sustainable exploitation of climate services can be achieved. At the same time, SECLI-FIRM will continually review the solutions adopted to ensure they are the most appropriate and innovative, and that linkages amongst them are carefully examined and taken advantage of.

Website & more info

More info: