With a history of around eight years of providing climate information services in the Pacific Island region, the APEC Climate Center (APCC) has officially become a member of the WMO RA-V Pacific Regional Climate Centre Network (Pacific RCC) node on long-range forecasting.
The Pacific RCC is a virtual Centre of Excellence that assists National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the Pacific to deliver better climate services and products to meet national climate information and service delivery needs.
As the hub for up-to-date regional long-range climate forecasts, the Pacific RCC assists with climate monitoring products, climate change projections, climate data services and information on regional training activities.
The Pacific RCC has five nodes covering (1) long range forecasting, (2) climate monitoring, (3) climate change projections, (4) operational data services and, (5) training. Each node is co-led by different institutions forming a consortium of members from around the Pacific.
“We congratulate the APCC on becoming a member of the Pacific RCC node on long-range forecasting. The APCC is a long-time partner of SPREP, their support has helped grow Pacific capacity of the NMHS’s across the region,” said Ms Tagaloa Cooper, Director of Climate Change Resilience, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“APCC has been instrumental across the Pacific region in helping the NMHS’s develop national climate bulletins and tailor climate information as needed by sectors and communities through two toolkits for climate seasonal forecast. Congratulations once again, APCC.”
It was a partnership with SPREP in 2014 through the Republic of Korea-Pacific Islands Climate Prediction Services (ROK-PI CliPS) project, funded by the ROK-Pacific Cooperation Fund that APCC’s active involvement in climate information services in the Pacific Islands began. This provided providing customised 3–6-month Climate Outlooks for the Pacific islands on a monthly basis in addition to its regular global climate outlook.
APCC and SPREP then developed the well-known Climate Information ToolKit for the Pacific (CLIK-P) and Pacific Island Countries Advanced Seasonal Outlook (PICASO). CLIK-P brought the first customizable Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) climate prediction service to the Pacific Islands, and PICASO brought the first hybrid statistical-dynamical seasonal forecasts downscaled to the station-level, based on the APCC MME.
Through ROK-PI CliPS, APCC and SPREP hosted a number of training workshops in the region, as well as a specialised Young Scientist Support Programs for the Pacific region in 2015 and 2017, inviting climate scientists and researchers from various Pacific Island NMHSs where they were provided with lectures and trainings related to climate variabilities, advanced climate prediction techniques, applications methods, and more.
Based on various remaining needs, APCC began to actively seek out funding to continue providing climate services to the Pacific Island region after the close of the ROK-PI CliPS project in 2017. In order to ensure APCC’s continued support to the Pacific region, the APCC team submitted an internal proposal to fund a small-scale one-year APCC-funded project, entitled Pacific Initiative for Climate Application and Prediction Services (PICAPS) for 2018.
Through PICAPS, APCC made some important updates to the PICASO software, such as the addition of Nauru, one station in Samoa, and two in FSM; the addition of a regional climate outlook function and table summary; as well as a sub-regional training workshop held in Kiribati.
Dr. Won Moo Kim, principal investigator of the PICAPS project said, “The most important aspect of PICAPS was that it provided us with the time needed to develop a proposal and secure funding for a second phase of the ROK-PI CliPS project, which is currently being implemented by Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and SPREP.”
APCC has also recently secured funding through the GCF-funded “Enhancing Climate Information and Knowledge Services for resilience in five island countries of the Pacific Ocean” programme led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Through this programme, APCC will continue its work on improving PICASO and will also conduct capacity building activities for the five countries, including the Young Scientist Support Program.
Ms. Bo Ra Kim, Senior International Project Manager at APCC said, “Through this programme, we will address some of the remaining needs mentioned during the PMC-4 in 2017, with the addition of temperature outlooks, sector-tailored forecasts, and updates to the PICASO methodology, which is expected to enhance the skill and reliability of the PICASO forecasts.”
Throughout its eight years of supporting climate prediction in the Pacific islands, APCC has participated regularly in regional events such as the Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forums and the Pacific
Meteorological Council. APCC has provided valuable climate expertise to such regional events, becoming a member of the Pacific Island Climate Services Panel in 2019. APCC is also a delivery partner for the GCF-funded Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Planning in Vanuatu (Van KIRAP project).
Dr. Simon McGree, coordinator of the Pacific Regional Climate Centre (RCC) Network said, "having APCC as a consortium member for the Long-Range Forecasting (LRF) will enable the RCC Network to provide a greater range of LRF products to the Pacific NMHSs and the opportunity for NMHSs provide better and a wider range of climate information to Pacific communities. The Republic of Korea is also host to the WMO Lead Centre for Long-Range Forecast Multi-Model Ensemble which has recently become the primary source of seasonal predictions for the Pacific RCC Network".
As APCC will continue its support of climate services in the Pacific island region, APCC has officially become a member of the Pacific RCC Network as part of the node on long-range forecasting. APCC looks forward to continuing to serve its mission of providing high quality climate information to the Asia-Pacific region and will collaborate closely with the NMHSs and SPREP to serve the climate information needs of the Pacific Island region.
For more information please email Tile Tofaeono, Climate Prediction Services Coordinator at [email protected].