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EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 1 23 September 2014 
Socio-Economic Benefits of 
Polar Satellite Data 
Alain Ratier 
Director-General 
WMO / EUMETSAT Side-Event 
Socio-Economic Benefits of Satellites 
EUMETSAT Meteorological 
Conference 
Geneva - 23 September 2014
The challenge: from observation to benefits 
Slide: 2 
Benefits from public and private decisions 
Forecaster Expertise 
Numerical Prediction (ECMWF and NMSs) 
2 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
Forecast & support to 
decision making 
Observation 
Delivery and value 
Requirements
Methodology 
3 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Joining forces 
• Socio-economic benefit study launched in 2011, updated in 2013 
• Collaborative venture: 
- Socio-Economic Benefits of forecasts: World Bank/Météo-France 
- Impact of satellites on forecasts : ECMWF, UKMO, DWD 
- Benefits attributable to satellites : All 
4 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Benefits areas of weather forecasting 
Safety of life, property 
and infrastructure… 
Transport … ...Climate policy and 
5 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
environment protection 
….... ...... 
....Energy, agriculture, 
tourism....
Transports: impact on aviation 
6 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
Eyjafjallajökull Ash cloud from 7 to 11 May 2010 
(Second eruption)
Energy sector 
7 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Focus on areas where benefits of forecast can be quantified 
• Areas where quantitative assessment of benefits exists, is 
documented by research and publications 
• Protection of property and infrastructure (avoided costs) 
• Direct added value to the European Economy 
• Value of private Use by European Citizens 
• Published socio-economic studies compiled, analysed and 
extrapolated by an economist of the World Bank 
• Scope: European Union (EU 27) 
8 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Protection of Property & Infrastructure (avoided costs) 
• Forecast information integrated into warning/civil protection systems 
limits economic losses due to floods and storms 
• Floods in Europe cost on average €4Bn/year 
• Storms in Europe cost on average €2.6Bn/year 
• Based on published information, likely annual benefit of forecast 
information in limiting EU losses due to floods and storms is €2.75Bn 
• Publications suggest that forecasts of other severe phenomena (risk 
of forest fires, snow, heat-waves, cold spells, etc.) bring altogether 
benefits in the same order as for floods and storms 
• Likely aggregate benefit is €5.5Bn/year 
9 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Direct Added Value to the EU Economy (Exc. private use) 
• Forecasts widely used to optimize business/increase productivity: 
• Transport Sector: 
• Air traffic management (e.g. reduction in weather-induced delays) 
• Route planning / optimisation 
• Road and rail network management, ….. 
• Ship routing 
• Energy Sector: demand estimation, supply/grid management….) 
• Agriculture (planting, harvesting, use of fertilizers…) 
• Leisure and tourism (demand planning) 
• Construction (planning) 
• Mining 
10 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Direct Added Value to the EU Economy… Ct’d 
• About 1/3 of EU GDP is weather-sensitive, with some sectors particularly 
sensitive (e.g. transport and energy) 
• Aviation sector alone contributes over €120Bn to European GDP, as 
well as being a vital infrastructure component for Europe 
• Estimations available for added value of weather forecasts to weather-sensitive 
sectors of the EU economy 
• Published studies show that forecast information yields at least “added 
value” of 0.25%: the benefit is at least €10.23Bn/year in the EU 
• Published studies suggest that 1% is a more realistic value on average: 
the corresponding benefit is €41Bn/year 
11 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Value of Private Use by European Citizens 
• A US study has indicated that private households in the US place a 
value of about US$280 / year on forecast information 
• Assuming European households are prepared to pay €20/year 
(directly or through taxes), the aggregate benefit is €4Bn/year 
• With a more likely value of €80/year for European households the 
benefit increases to 15Bn/year 
12 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Estimated benefits of weather forecast in the EU 27 
BENEFIT AREA LIKELY 
Protection of property and infrastructure €5.4 billion/year 
Added value to the European economy €41.0 billion/year 
Private use by European citizens €15.0 billion/year 
TOTAL €61.5 billion/year 
 Not captured: value of hundreds of lives saved each year is not captured 
 Also ignored: additional benefits of weather forecasts on specialised forecasts of weather-dependent 
phenomena, i.e. air quality, marine forecasts, dispersion of pollution, etc. 
13 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Impact of Metop Data on Forecasting 
Parallel investigations undertaken to provide 3 different perspectives 
on impact of EPS / Metop-SG on forecast accuracy: 
Assessment of the relative contributions of the various 
observation sources to forecast accuracy (Met Office UK) 
Statistical Impact on Forecast Accuracy using Data Denial 
Experiments (ECMWF) 
Case Study on the Impact of Polar Data on the Forecasting of 
Winter Storms over Europe (DWD) 
14 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Observations into models: « Assimilation » 
Constraining the initial model « trajectory » 
« RRRReeeeaaaallll AAAAttttmmmmoooosssspppphhhheeeerrrreeee » 
15 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
vvvveeeerrrriiiiffffiiiiccccaaaattttiiiioooonnnn 
MMMMooooddddeeeellll ffffoooorrrreeeeccccaaaasssstttt wwwwiiiitttthhhhoooouuuutttt 
nnnneeeewwww oooobbbbsssseeeerrrrvvvvaaaattttiiiioooonnnnssss 
ttttiiiimmmmeeee 
TTTT0000 - 00006666hhhh TTTT0000 TTTT0000 ++++ 22224444hhhh 
OOOObbbbsssseeeerrrrvvvvaaaattttiiiioooonnnnssss 
MMMMooooddddeeeellll FFFFoooorrrreeeeccccaaaasssstttt 
EEEErrrrrrrroooorrrr 
RRRReeeedddduuuuccccttttiiiioooonnnn 
SSSSttttaaaatttteeee ooooffff aaaattttmmmmoooosssspppphhhheeeerrrreeee
Major impact of Metop-A on Day 1 forecast 
EEEErrrrrrrroooorrrr 
RRRReeeedddduuuuccccttttiiiioooonnnn 
16 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
24.5% 
RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION 
OF OBSERVATIONS TO 
REDUCTION OF ERROR IN 
DAY 1 NUMERICAL 
FORECAST 
TTTT0000 ++++ 22224444hhhh
ECMWF Data Denial Experiments 
17 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Beyond statistics, some cases matter more than 
others: ECMWF Forecasts of Sandy landfall 
18 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 
Slide: 18
Beyond statistics, some cases matter more than 
others: DWD Forecasts of Nicolas winter storm 
• Winter storm “Nicolas”: 45 hour forecasts and operational analysis (best approximation of ground truth) of 
surface pressure (contour lines) and 10m wind speed (shaded areas – units M/S) for 7 February 2011 
19 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
IMPACT OF METOP DATA ON FORECASTING – MAIN RESULTS 
• Polar orbiting satellites account for more than 58% of the impact of all 
observations on NWP forecasts 
• Metop-A biggest individual contributor at around 25%, i.e. roughly 2.5 times 
greater than a fully functional spacecraft from a previous generation (i.e. NOAA- 
19) 
• Loss of Metop data would lead to an 8% drop in forecast accuracy over Europe 
(assuming other components of the observing system remained in place) 
• If Metop were the only polar orbiting meteorological spacecraft, its loss would 
result in a 13% drop in forecast accuracy over Europe 
• A 15-20% loss of forecast accuracy would result from the simultaneous 
unavailability of Metop and the US counterpart of the Initial Joint Polar System 
20 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Benefits of forecast attributable to EPS/Metop 
Most conservative forecast impact of 8% taken for calculating benefits 
BENEFIT AREA LIKELY 
Protection of property and infrastructure € 0.4 billion/year 
Added value to the European economy € 3.3 billion/year 
Private use by European citizens € 1.2 billion/year 
TOTAL €4.9 billion/year 
 Value of hundreds of lives saved each year not captured 
 Also ignored: additional benefits of weather forecasts on specialised forecasts of weather-dependent 
phenomena, i.e. air quality, marine forecasts, dispersion of pollution, etc. 
21 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Benefit/cost ratio of EPS/Metop-SG Programme (€ 3 Bn) 
Most conservative forecast impact of 8% assumed, as for EPS/Metop 
21 years of observation: 2020-2041 
BENEFIT AREA LIKELY 
Protection of property and infrastructure € 6.0 billion 
Added value to the European economy € 45.2billion 
Private use by European citizens € 11.5 billion 
TOTAL € 63 billion 
(2010 values, using discount rate of 4% and assuming GDP growth rate of 2%) 
Benefit to cost ratio is in the order of 20 
22 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Possible drivers of future evolutions of benefits (1/2) 
• Benefits attributable to Metop-SG may increase wrt Metop, as 
capabilities will be significantly enhanced 
• Conceptually, relative impact should level if all satellites are 
equally capable 
• Impact study for dual Metop, Suomi-NPP, FY3 of great interest 
• Populating the “early morning” orbit with advanced satellites 
expected to have highest impact in the short term 
• Improvements in absolute forecast accuracy will increase benefits, 
possibly massively of performance thresholds are exceeded 
• Assessment is a challenge: socio-economic benefits are based 
on current forecast 
• How to measure elasticity of benefits to forecast performance? 
23 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Impact of dual Metop operations 
24 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
Possible drivers of future evolutions of benefits (2/2) 
• Expectation of more frequent high-impact weather events in our 
changing climate, increasing further the “avoided costs” 
• Increasing vulnerability/sensitiveness of society and economy (e.g. 
with the development of renewable energy) to weather 
• ….but stagnant/slow economic growth will reduce benefits ! 
• Improved response of decision-making to forecasts and warnings 
• Use of probabilistic forecast will make a difference 
25 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014

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Socio-economic benefits of satellite data

  • 1. EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 1 23 September 2014 Socio-Economic Benefits of Polar Satellite Data Alain Ratier Director-General WMO / EUMETSAT Side-Event Socio-Economic Benefits of Satellites EUMETSAT Meteorological Conference Geneva - 23 September 2014
  • 2. The challenge: from observation to benefits Slide: 2 Benefits from public and private decisions Forecaster Expertise Numerical Prediction (ECMWF and NMSs) 2 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 Forecast & support to decision making Observation Delivery and value Requirements
  • 4. Joining forces • Socio-economic benefit study launched in 2011, updated in 2013 • Collaborative venture: - Socio-Economic Benefits of forecasts: World Bank/Météo-France - Impact of satellites on forecasts : ECMWF, UKMO, DWD - Benefits attributable to satellites : All 4 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 5. Benefits areas of weather forecasting Safety of life, property and infrastructure… Transport … ...Climate policy and 5 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 environment protection ….... ...... ....Energy, agriculture, tourism....
  • 6. Transports: impact on aviation 6 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 Eyjafjallajökull Ash cloud from 7 to 11 May 2010 (Second eruption)
  • 7. Energy sector 7 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 8. Focus on areas where benefits of forecast can be quantified • Areas where quantitative assessment of benefits exists, is documented by research and publications • Protection of property and infrastructure (avoided costs) • Direct added value to the European Economy • Value of private Use by European Citizens • Published socio-economic studies compiled, analysed and extrapolated by an economist of the World Bank • Scope: European Union (EU 27) 8 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 9. Protection of Property & Infrastructure (avoided costs) • Forecast information integrated into warning/civil protection systems limits economic losses due to floods and storms • Floods in Europe cost on average €4Bn/year • Storms in Europe cost on average €2.6Bn/year • Based on published information, likely annual benefit of forecast information in limiting EU losses due to floods and storms is €2.75Bn • Publications suggest that forecasts of other severe phenomena (risk of forest fires, snow, heat-waves, cold spells, etc.) bring altogether benefits in the same order as for floods and storms • Likely aggregate benefit is €5.5Bn/year 9 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 10. Direct Added Value to the EU Economy (Exc. private use) • Forecasts widely used to optimize business/increase productivity: • Transport Sector: • Air traffic management (e.g. reduction in weather-induced delays) • Route planning / optimisation • Road and rail network management, ….. • Ship routing • Energy Sector: demand estimation, supply/grid management….) • Agriculture (planting, harvesting, use of fertilizers…) • Leisure and tourism (demand planning) • Construction (planning) • Mining 10 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 11. Direct Added Value to the EU Economy… Ct’d • About 1/3 of EU GDP is weather-sensitive, with some sectors particularly sensitive (e.g. transport and energy) • Aviation sector alone contributes over €120Bn to European GDP, as well as being a vital infrastructure component for Europe • Estimations available for added value of weather forecasts to weather-sensitive sectors of the EU economy • Published studies show that forecast information yields at least “added value” of 0.25%: the benefit is at least €10.23Bn/year in the EU • Published studies suggest that 1% is a more realistic value on average: the corresponding benefit is €41Bn/year 11 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 12. Value of Private Use by European Citizens • A US study has indicated that private households in the US place a value of about US$280 / year on forecast information • Assuming European households are prepared to pay €20/year (directly or through taxes), the aggregate benefit is €4Bn/year • With a more likely value of €80/year for European households the benefit increases to 15Bn/year 12 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 13. Estimated benefits of weather forecast in the EU 27 BENEFIT AREA LIKELY Protection of property and infrastructure €5.4 billion/year Added value to the European economy €41.0 billion/year Private use by European citizens €15.0 billion/year TOTAL €61.5 billion/year Not captured: value of hundreds of lives saved each year is not captured Also ignored: additional benefits of weather forecasts on specialised forecasts of weather-dependent phenomena, i.e. air quality, marine forecasts, dispersion of pollution, etc. 13 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 14. Impact of Metop Data on Forecasting Parallel investigations undertaken to provide 3 different perspectives on impact of EPS / Metop-SG on forecast accuracy: Assessment of the relative contributions of the various observation sources to forecast accuracy (Met Office UK) Statistical Impact on Forecast Accuracy using Data Denial Experiments (ECMWF) Case Study on the Impact of Polar Data on the Forecasting of Winter Storms over Europe (DWD) 14 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 15. Observations into models: « Assimilation » Constraining the initial model « trajectory » « RRRReeeeaaaallll AAAAttttmmmmoooosssspppphhhheeeerrrreeee » 15 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 vvvveeeerrrriiiiffffiiiiccccaaaattttiiiioooonnnn MMMMooooddddeeeellll ffffoooorrrreeeeccccaaaasssstttt wwwwiiiitttthhhhoooouuuutttt nnnneeeewwww oooobbbbsssseeeerrrrvvvvaaaattttiiiioooonnnnssss ttttiiiimmmmeeee TTTT0000 - 00006666hhhh TTTT0000 TTTT0000 ++++ 22224444hhhh OOOObbbbsssseeeerrrrvvvvaaaattttiiiioooonnnnssss MMMMooooddddeeeellll FFFFoooorrrreeeeccccaaaasssstttt EEEErrrrrrrroooorrrr RRRReeeedddduuuuccccttttiiiioooonnnn SSSSttttaaaatttteeee ooooffff aaaattttmmmmoooosssspppphhhheeeerrrreeee
  • 16. Major impact of Metop-A on Day 1 forecast EEEErrrrrrrroooorrrr RRRReeeedddduuuuccccttttiiiioooonnnn 16 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 24.5% RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION OF OBSERVATIONS TO REDUCTION OF ERROR IN DAY 1 NUMERICAL FORECAST TTTT0000 ++++ 22224444hhhh
  • 17. ECMWF Data Denial Experiments 17 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 18. Beyond statistics, some cases matter more than others: ECMWF Forecasts of Sandy landfall 18 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014 Slide: 18
  • 19. Beyond statistics, some cases matter more than others: DWD Forecasts of Nicolas winter storm • Winter storm “Nicolas”: 45 hour forecasts and operational analysis (best approximation of ground truth) of surface pressure (contour lines) and 10m wind speed (shaded areas – units M/S) for 7 February 2011 19 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 20. IMPACT OF METOP DATA ON FORECASTING – MAIN RESULTS • Polar orbiting satellites account for more than 58% of the impact of all observations on NWP forecasts • Metop-A biggest individual contributor at around 25%, i.e. roughly 2.5 times greater than a fully functional spacecraft from a previous generation (i.e. NOAA- 19) • Loss of Metop data would lead to an 8% drop in forecast accuracy over Europe (assuming other components of the observing system remained in place) • If Metop were the only polar orbiting meteorological spacecraft, its loss would result in a 13% drop in forecast accuracy over Europe • A 15-20% loss of forecast accuracy would result from the simultaneous unavailability of Metop and the US counterpart of the Initial Joint Polar System 20 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 21. Benefits of forecast attributable to EPS/Metop Most conservative forecast impact of 8% taken for calculating benefits BENEFIT AREA LIKELY Protection of property and infrastructure € 0.4 billion/year Added value to the European economy € 3.3 billion/year Private use by European citizens € 1.2 billion/year TOTAL €4.9 billion/year Value of hundreds of lives saved each year not captured Also ignored: additional benefits of weather forecasts on specialised forecasts of weather-dependent phenomena, i.e. air quality, marine forecasts, dispersion of pollution, etc. 21 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 22. Benefit/cost ratio of EPS/Metop-SG Programme (€ 3 Bn) Most conservative forecast impact of 8% assumed, as for EPS/Metop 21 years of observation: 2020-2041 BENEFIT AREA LIKELY Protection of property and infrastructure € 6.0 billion Added value to the European economy € 45.2billion Private use by European citizens € 11.5 billion TOTAL € 63 billion (2010 values, using discount rate of 4% and assuming GDP growth rate of 2%) Benefit to cost ratio is in the order of 20 22 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 23. Possible drivers of future evolutions of benefits (1/2) • Benefits attributable to Metop-SG may increase wrt Metop, as capabilities will be significantly enhanced • Conceptually, relative impact should level if all satellites are equally capable • Impact study for dual Metop, Suomi-NPP, FY3 of great interest • Populating the “early morning” orbit with advanced satellites expected to have highest impact in the short term • Improvements in absolute forecast accuracy will increase benefits, possibly massively of performance thresholds are exceeded • Assessment is a challenge: socio-economic benefits are based on current forecast • How to measure elasticity of benefits to forecast performance? 23 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 24. Impact of dual Metop operations 24 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014
  • 25. Possible drivers of future evolutions of benefits (2/2) • Expectation of more frequent high-impact weather events in our changing climate, increasing further the “avoided costs” • Increasing vulnerability/sensitiveness of society and economy (e.g. with the development of renewable energy) to weather • ….but stagnant/slow economic growth will reduce benefits ! • Improved response of decision-making to forecasts and warnings • Use of probabilistic forecast will make a difference 25 EUM/DG/VWG/14/770830, 23 September 2014