Hamburg 2 May, 2023: With the impacts of climate change felt worldwide, decision-makers are depending increasingly on accurate climate change information to support society's adaptation of society to the new, evolving climate normal. This information is provided by climate models in combination with climate observations. Decisions must be based on trustworthy climate science together with reliable predictions. To achieve both, continuous development and improvement of climate infrastructure, ranging from complete Earth system models to a sustainable and science-based climate observation system, is required.

The World Climate Research Program (WCRP) is addressing both with its new Earth System Modelling and Observations (ESMO) Core Project that will coordinate, advance, and facilitate all modeling, data assimilation and observational activities within WCRP.

To coordinate this work, WCRP will open a new International Project Office (IPO) in Germany on 1 May 2023 hosted by the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) in Hamburg, Germany. The new IPO will provide support to activities developed by ESMO, and will take the lead in coordinating scientific activities and a communication strategy for ESMO.

The DKRZ is a central service center for German climate and Earth system research. With its high-performance computers, data storage and services, it forms the central research infrastructure for simulation-based climate science in Germany.
DKRZ is supported by its shareholders, the Max Planck Society, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg represented by the University of Hamburg, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the Helmholtz Center Hereon.

The new office will be under the leadership of the ESMO Scientific Steering Group (SSG), with oversight from the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC), and close collaboration with the WCRP Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
The new office will support ESMO activities for a seamless and value-chain model-data-observation approach across Earth system components, fundamental and applied disciplines, time and spatial scales and infrastructures.

Detlef Stammer, Chair of the WCRP JSC stated that having the ESMO IPO located at DKRZ is exciting for climate science in Hamburg and Germany alike and should be considered a win-win situation. WCRP will benefit greatly from the highly qualified support that will be provided through the office, thereby advancing climate modeling on an international scale. At the same time, the excellent climate modeling work currently underway in Germany will benefit by becoming more visible internationally, keeping it at the forefront of what is going on around the world.

According to Prof. Dr. Thomas Ludwig, Director of DKRZ, “Hosting the new ESMO office is in line with DKRZ’s long-term strategic mission to provide high-quality support for climate research. We are especially honoured by the WCRP’s confidence in DKRZ’s ability to support ESMO’s activities. Our thanks also goes to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), without whose help the set-up of the office would not have been possible.”

Susann Tegtmeier, ESMO Scientific Steering Group co-chair, comments, “We are very much looking forward to the DKRZ hosting the new ESMO project office. Given DKRZ’s strong modeling synergies, digital infrastructure capabilities and existing linkages, the new IPO will be ideally situated to support all ESMO activities.”

Hannes Thiemann, Head of Data Management at DKRZ, says: "DKRZ's competences in the field of climate modeling and data management, together with the scientific expertise of our shareholders and many other partners in Germany, offer optimal conditions to support future ESMO activities and, at the same time, to bundle and strengthen national and international efforts."

The new office will be run by staff under contract to DKRZ. The first position, to be advertised soon, will be that of the Director of the office.

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