The idea to make initial steps towards climate dynamics research in Hungary dates back to 2003: it was decided to start climate modelling activities besides the statistical-based climate research. The origin of this initiative was the fact that in the last decade a strong numerical weather prediction (NWP) team emerged at the Hungarian Meteorological Service together with the necessary computer background, which is indispensable for the use of numerical models. The above-mentioned NWP team had expertise in adaptation and application of short-range numerical models, therefore, the know-how was available for the work with regional climate models. The milestones of the planned research were laid down at an informal workshop organised by a meteorologist member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Rudolf Czelnai). In this discussion experts in the fields of "traditional" climate research and numerical modelling were gathered, and afterwards the basis for a national climate-dynamics programme was sketched and elaborated. Later on, the relevant division of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences also supported the realisation of the research project.
The main initial vehicle for exploitation of the research and development programme was a national R&D project entitled "The dynamical meteorological study and characterization of the climate over Hungary based on numerical models". The project was realised between 1st January 2005 and 31st December 2007 with the leadership of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (HMS). Besides HMS, the consortium consisted of the Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Meteorology, the University of Pécs, Faculty of Sciences, and the Env-in-Cent Ltd. The main objective of the co-operation was the establishment of the Hungarian regional climate modelling basis, which can serve as building bricks for climate change estimations over the Carpathian Basin. During the realisation four regional climate models were adapted: ALADIN-Climate and REMO at the Hungarian Meteorological Service, PRECIS and RegCM at the Eötvös Loránd University.
Thanks to these initial steps, more and more contacts were made with other European researchers in the field of climate modelling, consequently Hungarian colleagues could join the climate modelling network and take part in the European-wide co-operations. As a result of these efforts, the Hungarian Meteorological Service participated in the CLAVIER and CECILIA EU-funded projects. Both projects investigated the ongoing and future climate changes, their possible impacts and related uncertainties over countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In CLAVIER (Climate Change and Variability: Impact on Central and Eastern Europe; from September 2006 to August 2009) the REMO RCM was used in order to study the regional impact of climate change on circulation patterns, extreme events, air pollution, water- and energy management, and agriculture. Further details about the project are available at the CLAVIER web page. In the CECILIA (Central and Eastern Europe Climate Change Impact and Vulnerability Assessment) project (from May 2006 to December 2009) we took part with the results of ALADIN-Climate. CECILIA was also dealing with the impacts of climate change for Central and Eastern European regions, however, emphasis was also put on the exploitation of RCMs and their downscaling for finer spatial and temporal scale. More information about this project can be found at CECILIA web page.
Simultaneously, in order to further strengthen our international role, a climate-modelling mini-workshop was initiated and hosted by the Hungarian Meteorological Service (in Budapest) in February 2008. Mostly CLAVIER and CECILIA scientists attended the workshop, and aimed to strengthen the scientific co-operation between the two projects. The Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (called "Időjárás") devoted a Special Issue to the selected presentations of the workshop. During early summer of 2009 an international Summer School on climate change and variability ("Climate Variability and Climate Change: Estimating and Reducing Uncertainties") was organised in Visegrád (near Budapest) with active participation of a number of European and US researchers. The details (lectures, photos) of the Summer School are available on the related page.
After completion of the CECILIA and CLAVIER projects, a new EU-project was started with our participation at the beginning of 2010; the ECCONET (Effects of Climate Change on the Inland Waterway Networks) project is planned to be finished at the end of 2012. The project is focusing on the estimation of climate change impacts on the European inland waterway transports with special emphasis on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The Hungarian Meteorological Service is taking part in this work with its expertise regarding climate modelling and interpretation of climate model outputs for the impact studies.