ASPECT holds a successful User Forum and first General Assembly

ASPECT brings together users and researchers of climate predictions to explore user needs and the latest project advances.

ASPECT User Forum 2024

The second annual ASPECT User Forum was held over three days, and included a range of presentations and interactive sessions. It was fantastic to have participants from diverse sectors and backgrounds, with over 150 attendees joining the event, including stakeholders from research and academia, public authorities, the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

The User Forum enabled those interested in using climate information to obtain an overview on how climate predictions could be used in their decision making. We also heard from our newest Super Users, which are organisations that work closely with ASPECT researchers to co-produce climate information, and how they are planning to use climate predictions to help improve preparedness and resilience.

On the second day, we heard how ASPECT research is already advancing climate predictions, with some highlights from the project’s achievements so far and a look ahead into what is expected in the future. On the final day of the event, small group and one-to-one discussions were held between participants and ASPECT researchers to delve into topics of interest.

If you missed the User Forum, or you would like to revisit the presentations, you can watch them here.

ASPECT General Assembly

The first ASPECT General Assembly brought together the project consortium, including researchers and Super Users from across Europe, to share the work carried out during the first year of the project and explore future plans. The consortium also benefited from hearing the reflections and feedback from the project’s external advisory board.

The breadth of exciting scientific advances and ongoing work in ASPECT were shared and discussed. Research is ongoing to design and enhance seasonal-to-decadal prediction systems through a range of approaches, such as boosting ensemble sizes and bridging gaps in data series.

Alongside this, work is ongoing to improve our knowledge and preparedness for adaptation, through exploring high-impact events, as well as exploring the underlying mechanisms that influence the European climate. ASPECT scientists are also developing new methodologies to merge different climate predictions that span different timescales, while also exploring how large-scale predictions (e.g. for Europe) can be used to provide climate information at a local or regional level.

In addition to the scientific advances from ASPECT, there has been a substantial focus on exploring the decision contexts and needs of those using climate information in their organisations. Through working closely with the ASPECT Super Users, the project is exploring the user perspectives on the added benefits that seamless predictions can provide.

Our research has also worked to bring together users of climate information and researchers through events like the User Forum. By placing users of climate information at the centre of the project, their requirements will influence the development of prediction systems, which will in turn help organisations make better informed strategic decisions for improved future adaptation.

It was fantastic to have the ASPECT consortium come together for the first time since the kick off meeting, to hear about the latest developments and to identify opportunities for additional connections across the project. Finally, partners discussed ways to further collaborate in order to maximise the breadth of research and expertise within ASPECT. Exciting further developments to climate predictions are expected from ASPECT over the next few years!