Our Pacific island communities face increased exposure to extreme climate events. In most countries, seasonal climate forecasts are available through national meteorological services (NMSs), however, this information is derived from Global climate models that are often not suitable for decision making at the Pacific island provincial and community level. There is also the added challenge for Pacific communities to understand the scientific information provided and act on it.
To address this, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Pacific Met Desk Partnership have worked with partners to develop a range of dynamic models such as the Climate Information Toolkit for Pacific (CLIK-P) and Pacific Island Countries Advanced Seasonal Outlook (PICASO), as well as statistical climate models such as Seasonal Climate Outlook for Pacific Island countries (SCOPIC). These products were tailored and provided to the National Met Services of Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
These climate models develop specific climate outlooks for the NMS’s, they in turn develop information products and services to meet community needs.
In addition to this, Traditional Knowledge (TK) indicators for weather and climate are also incorporated into these related services so remote communities who mainly relied on weather and climate forecasts based on TK alone or in combination with contemporary (NMS) forecasts can effectively increase the uptake of this information.
Compare to ten years ago, NMSs have benefitted from Climate Projects which aims to improve their capacity, access and disseminating of reliable forecast and improved information that can be used by communities and sectors for decision making. These information are significantly important during an extreme event such as cyclones, droughts and floods.
Recent climate extremes events in the Pacific have shown self-reliant countries, with knowledge of using dynamical and statistical forecast along with traditional ways of forecasting, and responding to extremes, experience better response from NMS and from communities, particularly when combined with contemporary warnings.
While this work has been undertaken it should not stop there. To ensure enhanced resilience, there is always a continuous need to improve the climate forecast capabilities in the Pacific region. We must constantly strive to help communities better understand the role of NMSs climate forecasts, warnings and responses.
For more information please contact Mr. Philip Malsale – COSPPac Climatology Officer via [email protected]