Catalan Institute for Climate Sciences (IC3) responds to the need for more information about our climate, its history and its functioning, and the need to improve out capacity to predict climate changes in the short term (seasonal and inter-annual), and to learn to use such predictions for the benefit of society.
The ideas underlying climate predictions are no different from those of meteorological predictions: appropriate data, models and initialisation methods are needed, as well as continuous research to improve all parts of the process. One of the main differences between climate and meteorological predictions is the time scale involved. In addition, climate predictions use mainly oceanic initialisation data and the prediction models basically couple the atmosphere and the oceans (coupled GCM).
To improve our knowledge of climate and to be able to anticipate changes, it is essential to understand both its present and past behaviour, and to identify perturbations that are attributable to human action. This is the main objective of IC3: to contribute to our knowledge of global climate from the perspective of, and in relation to, our geographic area. The group aims to understand and characterise climatic variability on the regional scale (within the Mediterranean basin) and to identify the patterns of connections between the various components of climatic systems on a global scale.