Our 2023: Ten challenges at the climate sciences, policy and society interface

Cutting-edge research to improve our understanding of climate change and its impact on our socioeconomic systems: from CMCC scientists, ten issues at the forefront of the climate-neutral world.

A year full of projects, expectations and, of course, hard work. We asked the CMCC directors about the challenges they are going to face in 2023 and the projects their division will be involved in. Ten short videos for ten answers shed light on some of the most advanced challenges for climate sciences in 2023.

At The Forefront of Climate Predictions

Silvio Gualdi, director of the Climate Simulation and Prediction Division, declares that the main challenge in 2023 will probably be the completion of a seamless climate prediction system able to produce climate data and information at different timescales, from seasonal to multiannual. This will put CMCC at the forefront of the research in climate prediction and predictability, becoming a reference point for decision-makers who will benefit from the outcome of the research and will find available data to improve the decision-making process.  


Detailed Climate Data For Communities And Policy-Makers

According to Paola Mercogliano, the Regional Models and geo-Hydrological Division will pursue two main goals: evaluating the uncertainty of Convection Permitting Models (CPMs) and involving communities in the adaptation process. CPMs, commonly used for weather forecasting, has received much attention from the climate community and policymakers over recent years, resulting as attractive tools to investigate sub-daily temperature and precipitation patterns and extreme values and their sensitivity to climate change. The aim of the division is to make the data gathered in the last years available to stakeholders, decision-makers and especially to the local governments, as these data are expected to be used at the local level to add value to specific policies.

The Science-Policy Interface

Better exploring the science-policy interface is the objective of the Information Systems for Climate Science and Decision-making Division, Giulia Galluccio told us. The division is working at different levels to build a new research agenda for the European Union on climate science. Nutrition, food, and sea level rise are just some of the issues they are working on.

Climate-Related Societal Transformations

The biggest challenge for the Economic Analysis of Climate Impacts and Policy Division in the next year will be to incorporate societal transformation in quantitative tools, according to Francesco Bosello. Being up to date with societal transformations has always been a key research topic for the division, but now the rate of transformation is so fast that it requires a huge rethinking of the modelling tools: plenty of new sectors and jobs have appeared and need to be quantified and included.

Research And Policy For Decarbonization

The Sustainable Earth Modelling Economics Division led by Massimo Tavoni underlined the need to analyse climate policies and the repercussions for society, the energy system, and the environment. Indeed, the European Parliament has recently passed the most ambitious legislative proposal for decarbonizing the economy and society. 

Ecosystems For Climate Neutrality

The research activities of the Impacts on Agriculture, Forests and Ecosystem Services Division are also related to the carbon neutrality objective of the European Union. The aim is to develop a framework of tools for land management practices which can help in reaching carbon neutrality at different scales, from the district to the international level. Monia Santini explains that another challenge of the division regards climate resilience analyses that consider the synergies between adaptation and mitigation options.

The Global Coastal Ocean

The Ocean Predictions and Applications Division focuses on the Global Coastal Ocean, which extends inshore from the estuarine mouths to river catchments affected by saltwater and offshore from the surf zone to the continental shelf and slope, where waters of continental origins meet open ocean currents.

According to Giovanni Coppini, the Global Coastal Ocean approach represents an opportunity of serving society while improving the capacity to observe and forecast the coastal impacts as weather extremes but also pollution (e.g., ship routing or oil spill forecasting).


A New Framework For Regional Climate Risk Assessment

The Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies Division will be working on a European climate risk assessment that is made for the new European Commission. It should highlight the situations that can be triggered by climate related hazards. Jaroslav Mysiak, speaking on the influence of climate risk assessment, explained that the division will develop a new framework for the regional climate risk assessment to be applied within the context of adaptation to climate change. The framework will enhance the capabilities of regional and local authorities to identify accelerated and more systematic adaptation solutions to climate change.



Multi-Hazard Risks Assessment

Silvia Torresan adds that one of the focuses of the Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies Division is the analysis of multi-hazard risk interactions and how they affect the environment and multiple socio-economic sectors. By using new technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to advance quantitative assessments of risks, research produces data, information and knowledge to benefit decision-making processes and communities in specific areas.


Machine Learning and Computational Architectures

More complex models produce a growing amount of data. The Advanced Scientific Computing Division, led by Italo Epicoco is tackling the problem, also dealing with new technology for computational architectures and algorithms based on machine learning.

Cover photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash 



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