Extreme winds pose major risks to life, property and forestry, while extreme ocean waves can impact on offshore infrastructures and coastal communities. WINDSURFER is a 3-year project that brings together eight leading research institutions across Europe to co-develop new methods, tools and assessments of extreme wind and wave risk with a focus on the Insurance, Forestry and Energy sectors. Planning for and mitigating windstorm impacts requires detailed knowledge of the severity, location and frequency of European Windstorms and how they drive strong winds and extreme waves. Furthermore, understanding how extreme winds and waves may change in the future is critical for adapting to climate change, particularly for key socioeconomic sectors. There is strong demand in these sectors for a wide range of information to assess wind and wave risks. There are two key challenges that need to be addressed:
A. The need to co-develop climate services to address the user-demand for information on extreme wind and wave risk;
B. The need to address key gaps in our scientific knowledge of the risks posed by extreme winds and waves.
To address the above knowledge gaps, and to better inform strategies for mitigating current risks and for climate change adaptation, WINDSURFER addresses the following objectives.
1. Develop new methods and tools to better quantify current extreme wind and wave risk and understand how it might change in the future;
2. Develop impacts studies and new impact models for windstorms and associated extreme wind and wave damage;
3. Provide localised climate information for current and future wind and wave risk, with a particular focus on the Insurance, Forestry, and Offshore Energy sectors.
WINDSURFER will further our understanding of extreme wind and wave risk, both in the present and future climates, and lead to a better quantification of the uncertainties in climate model projections. Models and approaches will be developed and intercompared in WINDSURFER, leading to common tools and methods for understanding extreme wind and wave risk. WINDSURFER will also make contributions to cutting-edge high-resolution climate modelling, closing the gaps between the spatial scales in current models and the localised climate information which is required to inform climate change adaptation.
Finally, the scientific outputs from WINDSURFER will make major contributions to international science programmes such as HiResMIP, MED-CORDEX, WMO/IOC/JCOMM Coordinated Ocean Wave Climate Project (COWCLIP) and the World Climate Research Programme’s Grand Challenge on Climate Extremes.
WINDSURFER includes eight RPOs geographically distributed across Europe:
1. University of Reading- URED, United Kingdom,
2. Centro EuroMediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici – CMSS, Italy
3. Norwegian Meteorological Institute – MET, Norway
4. Finnish Meteorological Institute – FMI, Finland
5. Universidad de Cantabria – Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de Cantabria – UC-IHC, Spain
6. Met Éireann – METEI, Ireland
7. Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute – KNMI, the Netherlands
8. NCSRD Environmental Research Laboratory, INRASTES, – Greece
WINDSURFER is funded through the ERA4CS ERA-NET and the European Commission.