Name: Dr Clare Goodess
Job title: Senior Research Fellow
Organisation: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia
Outside of SECLI-FIRM, what is your role within your organisation and what do you do in this role?
I’m a senior researcher working on a number of different climate-related research projects. These days my role is more about communication and knowledge transfer and inter-disciplinary working than ‘number crunching’.
How long have you worked in science/energy and what motivated you to pursue this career?
I was lucky to get a very temporary job in the internationally renowned Climatic Research Unit digitising observed data from old log books back in 1982 and more than 37 years later I am still here. I have been able to develop and shape my career to focus on the aspects that interest me most: the impacts of climate variability and change on human activities and the provision of climate information to help society tackle climate change.
Why did you get involved in the SECLI-FIRM project and why does this project excite you?
I had enjoyed working with a number of the SECLI-FIRM partners in an earlier climate services project and so was happy to work with them again, as well as with new colleagues. For me the project is exciting as it offers the opportunity to focus on cutting-edge research in a real-world setting, bringing together researchers and industrial partners.
What is your main role and contribution to the SECLI-FIRM project?
My role is cross-cutting across all the SECLI-FIRM activities helping to ensure that they are well integrated. So far, I’ve been most directly involved in work on understanding the decision-making processes for each of our nine case studies. But it’s also important for me to understand the scientific challenges in producing skilful seasonal forecasts.
What are the key things you have learned from being involved in the SECLI-FIRM project so far?
That decision making in the real world is complex! Also that there is real enthusiasm and commitment from the seasonal forecasting experts in the project to provide high-quality forecasts and information that is genuinely useful and usable for the energy sector.
What achievements do you personally hope to accomplish by the end of the SECLI-FIRM project?
Having previously worked primarily on regional climate projections, I hope to have much improved expertise in the production and use of seasonal forecasts. More generally, I hope that I will have facilitated my colleagues to quantify in a robust way the value to the energy sector of using seasonal forecasts.
What do you believe are the key benefits of climate science, and seasonal forecasting in particular, for the energy industry?
The energy sector is clearly sensitive and vulnerable to climate variability and change. I hope that mainstreaming the use of seasonal forecasts for operational decision making will encourage the sector to introduce longer timescale climate projections for more strategic decision making relating to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
What do you believe are the barriers to the energy sector in accessing and using seasonal forecasting information?
A perception that seasonal forecasts are not sufficiently skilful for Europe. The rather complex and technical skill metrics that seasonal forecast producers tend to work with. Concerns as to how to use probabilistic forecasts – despite having a good understanding of risk.
What part do you think projects like SECLI-FIRM play in promoting collaboration between the energy and meteorology/climate sectors?
They give the time and space to build trust and understanding between individuals from the two sectors. Whilst the motivations for participating may be different for research and industry partners, the ultimate end goals are the same.
What would be your top tip for anyone interested in getting involved in a project like SECLI-FIRM?
Participate in project workshops and webinars. Ask us questions! Talk to us! Let us know if you would be interested in participating in future projects/activities.