Sectoral use of climate information in Europe: A synoptic overview

Marta Bruno Soares (Lead Author), Meghan Alexander, Suraje Dessai

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102 Citations (Scopus)
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Society can benefit from usable climate information to better prepare and adapt to the risks and opportunities posed by climate variability and change. An adequate and effective provision of climate information – from historical observations through to seasonal forecasts, and multi-decadal climate change projections – is critical to inform planning and decision-making in climate-sensitive sectors. Central to this are the end-users of climate information and a growing emphasis on tailored climate information and services shaped by user needs. However, knowledge about the use of climate information across European economic sectors is limited. This paper identifies the spectrum of sectoral information requirements across a number of sectors including agriculture, forestry, energy, water, tourism, insurance, health, emergency services and transport sectors, drawing from an online survey (n = 462) and interviews with (potential) users of climate information (n = 80). This analysis reveals shared opportunities across sectors including the potential application of decadal climate predictions. In addition, common barriers and enablers to the uptake of climate information were also noted including the format of the information provided, the need for compatibility with existing in-house systems, and the perceived credibility and trust of information providers. This analysis also points towards a perceived increasing fragmentation of available information and the desire amongst end-users for a European body able to centralise and coordinate climate data. We highlight some of the current factors that still need to be adequately addressed in order to enhance the uptake and application of climate information in decision-making across European economic sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalClimate Services
Early online date21 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • User needs
  • Climate information
  • Decision-making
  • Climate services
  • Europe

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