On 29 June 2007 the European Commission launched a Green Paper with as key message: Europe must not only make deep cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions but also take measures to adapt to current and future climate change in order to lessen the adverse impacts of global warming on people, the economy and the environment.
In the CGOS contribution to the Nairobi Work Programme (Draft, 3 Sept 2007, “The Role of Observations in Support of Adaptation” ) it is concluded:
Adaptation of natural and human systems to the impacts of natural climate variability and human-induced climate change is not optional. If climate change is inevitable, then so is adaptation. Further in this report the rationale for DARE (Data Rescue) activities is expressed: At the present time, in many countries neither the quality nor quantity of observations needed is adequate to allow reliable projections needed for adaptation purposes (..)observation networks and data use will need to be strengthened, especially in vulnerable areas.
This rationale is well in line with the statement made by GCOS in its 2nd adequacy report (2003): The requirement for information on trends and change – makes historical data as important as new observations
This paper has as aim to improve the use of (historical) data by describing existing available and potential datasets in the Greater Mediterranean Area of WMO RAVI and RAI.
First an overview is given of datasets, often built up by the meteorological observational networks of the NMHS’s, available for monitoring and research purposes. Also the existence of sets of observations, made by individuals and occasional networks before the foundation of the NMHS’s and the usefulness of paleoclimatic data sets of proxies will be touched.
The outcomes of a questionnaire of DARE activities, addressing the NMHS’s with respect to their early and modern observations are presented. The last section offers tracks to potential valuable documentary (paper, image file, film) datasets that deserve to be “dared”
The all over picture obtained is that in Europe especially the (eastern) parts of the Mediterranean area, including the Balkan (RA VI) and the North African coast (RA I), are to be labelled as “data sparse”. This urges to promote the use of already existing and available digitised data sets, the need to search for and preserve documentary observational records (and metadata!) that are threatened by deterioration and to continue or start the digitisation of existing documentary and image file observational records.
A van Engelen, L Klok. Climate data sets availability in RA VI, emphasis on the Mediterranean RA VI and RA I countries
Conference: MEDARE International Workshop on Rescue and Digitization of Climate Records in the Mediterranean Basin, Organisation: WMO, Place: Geneve, Year: 2007, First page: 15, Last page: 23