CliSAP successfully finished in 2018. Climate research continues in the Cluster of Excellence "CLICCS".

Cooperation agreement signed for seasonal climate predictions


Since 2009, Germany's National Meteorological Service Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), the University of Hamburg (UHH) and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) have been developing a system for climate prediction with a time horizon of a few months to half a year. This forecasting system, called German Climate Forecast System (GCFS), forms the basis for the operational service of the seasonal predictions at DWD. The predictions get published regularly at DWD´s homepage since recently (link to DWD website). In the presence of Prof Johanna Baehr (UHH), Prof Paul Becker (DWD) and Prof Martin Claussen (MPI-M), the agreement on the GCFS cooperation was officially signed.

Wolfgang Müller (MPI-M), Mikhail Dobrynin (UHH), Paul Becker (DWD), Johanna Baehr (UHH), Martin Claußen (MPI-M) und Kristina Fröhlich (DWD) (from left to right ) with the cooperation agreement.

Seasonal predictions can be made because the interaction of different climate components always shifts the chaotic behavior of the atmosphere to a certain state. For example, soil, ocean or sea-ice all store water and heat from the atmosphere and release it at a later time, sometimes even in other places. They are the long-term memory of the atmosphere in a sense and make it possible to predict processes even on longer time scales. Therefore, seasonal predictions require a coupled climate system, as it is available with the MPI-M Earth System Model.

In order to carry out a seasonal forecast, it is also necessary to determine the initial values of the coupled climate system. The knowledge of the current state of land, atmosphere, ocean and sea-ice is crucial. Therefore, the model at UHH is fed with measurements and data directly derived from measurements, using special methods in such a way that model physics is brought very close to the current climate state. From this point on, the prediction is started.

The earth system model of MPI-M and the regulations of the initial fields are combined and integrated into the operational workflow at DWD. Thus, new seasonal climate forecasts can be created and made available every month. The signed agreement formalizes the cooperation between DWD, UHH and MPI-M for the German Climate Forecast System.

Website for seasonal predictions (in German only)


Prof Johanna Baehr
Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability
Universität Hamburg
Institute of Oceanography
Phone:  +49 40 42838-7736

Dr Kristina Fröhlich
Deutscher Wetterdienst
Phone: +49 69 8062-2429

Dr Wolfgang Müller
Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie
Phone: +49 40 – 41173 370