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Call: Development of high-resolution Earth system models for global and regional climate change projections

Acronym HE-CL5-D1
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality"

Europe has been at the forefront of climate science and should retain its leadership position to support EU policies as well as international efforts for a global uptake of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including biodiversity objectives. Advancing climate science and further broadening and deepening the knowledge base is essential to inform the societal transition towards a climate neutral and climate resilient society by 2050, as well as towards a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030. It will involve research that furthers our understanding of past, present and expected future changes in climate and its implications on ecosystems and society, closing knowledge gaps, and develops the tools that support policy coherence and the implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions. Due to the inherent international character of this subject, international collaboration is encouraged for topics under this destination.

The activities implemented under this section will enable the transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy through improving the knowledge of the Earth system and the ability to predict and project its changes under different natural and socio-economic drivers, including a better understanding of society’s response and behavioural changes, and allowing a better estimation of the impacts of climate change and the design and evaluation of solutions and pathways for climate change mitigation and adaptation and related social transformation.

This Destination contributes directly to the Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientation C ”Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems” and the impact area “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

In line with the Strategic Plan, the overall expected impact of this Destination is to contribute to the “Transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy enabled through advanced climate science, pathways and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations”, notably through:

  1. Advancing knowledge and providing solutions in the any of following areas: Earth system science; pathways to climate neutrality; climate change adaptation including climate services; social science for climate action; and better understanding of climate-ecosystems interactions.
  2. Contributing substantially to key international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the European Environment Agency (e.g. European environment state and outlook reports, SOER).
  3. Strengthening the European Research Area on climate change.
  4. Increasing the transparency, robustness, trustworthiness and practical usability of the knowledge base on climate change for use by policy makers, practitioners, other stakeholders and citizens.

Coordination and synergies between activities supported under Destination 1, as well as in other Destinations and Clusters, and in particular complementarities with Cluster 4 and Cluster 6 should be taken into account by planning for adequate resources for co-ordination and clustering activities. Following a systemic approach, Destination 1 concentrates on activities related to climate science and modelling, whereas Cluster 6 supports R&I in the areas covered by Cluster 6, notably on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

Link Link to Programme
Development of high-resolution Earth system models for global and regional climate change projections
Description of call
"Development of high-resolution Earth system models for global and regional climate change projections"

Expected Outcome

Proposals should improve European high-resolution, fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-land Earth System Models, able to robustly simulate key climate processes, their variability and future trends for this and well into the next century in order to enhance the quality, robustness and versatility of climate projections on a range of temporal and spatial scales (global and regional) to (1) support policies implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement and (2) address the societal need to assess and respond to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved climate projections with sound uncertainty estimates under different scenarios on different temporal and spatial scales.
  • Improved understanding and modelling of tipping points in the climatic systems, such as the ice shields at both poles and ocean circulation.
  • Advances in attribution of climate change and its phenomena to anthropogenic forcers.
  • Support to the evaluation of mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies through improved linkages with Integrated Assessment Models.
  • Pave the way for the next cycle of the IPCC Assessment reports by a leading role in the WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Programme (CMIP).
  • Sustain and enhance European cooperation and leadership in climate sciences.


Projects should foster a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-land-ice Earth-system model approach that contributes to a better understanding and representation of the processes, including for that drive and influence climate change on global and regional scale. Arctic and Antarctic regions should be considered as key elements in global climate changes.

Projects should make efficient use of available and high quality observational data (e.g. space-based and not space based, including in-situ and paleoclimatic data) for the development of robust model validation, verification, and improve uncertainty estimation methodologies.

Where relevant, high-resolution model development and evaluation should be properly connected with major programmes in the domain of Earth Observation such as the Copernicus Programme, the ESA science satellite missions in Europe, as well as the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) at global level.

They should also strive to reduce uncertainty of key parameters of climate and hydrological systems. Projects should advance methods for assessing and attributing model outputs and climate change impact on regional scales with the support of advanced digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence methodologies.

The advanced climate modelling activities should support the attribution of observed and projected climatic hazards to climate change or climate variability.

The activities should build on the experiences from and results of other European projects contributing to the development of a new generation of climate models.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to take advantage of the emerging ICT infrastructures (e.g. EuroHPC and other high performance computing, cloud-based facilities) that will be made available through the Destination Earth initiative under the Digital Europe Programme.

If adding value to the project outcomes, coordination with the Destination Earth initiative can be proposed to ensure the timely development of “climate replicas” building on the new state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, including access to European high performance computing resources and an operational platform to upload and integrate the models and data developed in the course of the projects. Connection to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) should be considered where relevant.

When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In particular, beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to publish results data in open access databases and/or as annexes to publications. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected.

International cooperation is encouraged.

Projects are expected to co-operate with other projects funded under this call, as well as other relevant projects under Destination 1 and Cluster 6, Destination 5.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Demographic Change, Migration, Administration & Governance, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Rural & Peripheral Development, Regional Development & Regional Planning
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 60 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 10.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 20.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

Due to the scope of this topic, legal entities established in all member states of the African Union are exceptionally eligible for Union funding.

Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional obligations regarding open science practices:

  • Open access to any new modules, models or tools, which are developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding under the action must be ensured through documentation, availability of model code and input data developed under the action.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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