PRUDENCE - Prediction of Regional scenarios and Uncertainties for Defining European Climate change risks and Effects

Background and Goals

The project produces and provides information about future climate development for decision makers in European governments, non-governmental organisations, industry and the general public. The aim is to include the possible risks of climate change in the assessment.

Although future climate projections do exist, they are subject to huge uncertainty and do not provide sufficient regional detail. The insufficient detail makes it more difficult to carry out a realistic simulation of extreme events and to illustrate detailed geographical differences in climate parameters such as temperature and precipitation over heterogeneous areas such as the Alps, the Mediterranean region or Scandinavia.

The objective of the project is coordinate climate analyses and illustrate their benefits in detailed climate modelling for Europe. Because of heterogeneity of possible climate changes and the associated effects, expertise from climate modellers, climate effect researchers, social and political scientists across Europe is utilised to ensure that the currently available climate change simulations have more comprehensive applicability. In addition, the uncertainty of climate projections and resulting climate effects for Europe are quantified.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Europe
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Hesse
  • Mecklenburg Western Pomerania
  • Northrhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland Palatinate
  • Schleswig-Holstein
Natural spatial classification
  • Low mountain ranges left and right of Rhine
  • North-East German lowland
  • North-West German lowland
  • West German lowland bay

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

The analyses comprise four very detailed atmospheric circulation models, eight regional climate models and various climate effects models. The IPCC emission scenarios (SRES) A2 and B2 are used.

The main product of the project is the PRUDENCE database, containing daily values for simulated climate variables from over 50 climate simulations for today and for the period 2071-2100. All simulations have a horizontal scale of 50x50 km or less. The project's ""Data distribution front page"", which can be used to access the climate data and its description, is located at

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Higher average temperatures
Further Parameters 

Frequency and extent of extreme weather events caused by higher temperatures, more intensive hydrological cycle and heightened atmospheric processes.

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

Climate effects are studied for hydrological processes, e.g. the Rhine and Baltic, for agriculture, for forestry and for ecological relationships.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The results can support the development of essential adaptation strategies, as they illustrate the need for these strategies.

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)


Funding / Financing 

5th Framework Programme for Research of the European Union

Project management 

Danish Meteorological Institute, Kopenhagen, Denmark


Cooperation in Germany:
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (German Aerospace Centre), Institute of Atmospheric Physics;

GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH, Institute of Coastal Research;

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (in total 21 European partners)


Danmarks Meteoroliske Institut
Lyngbyvej 100
DK-2100 Kopenhagen

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  biological diversity  water regime and water management  woodland and forestry