Implemented by the European Commission as part of the Copernicus Programme

GloFAS supports innovation in global hydrological prediction

Copernicus GloFAS has been highlighted in a recent WMO Bulletin as an example of successful innovation in hydrological modeling through the Earth System approach. This novel modeling approach provides information for early flood warning on a global scale.


The Earth system approach, championed by the ECMWF, represents a new way of thinking that fully utilizes advances in geospatial technology, Earth observations and computing power. The model aims to meet the demands of a changing planet and population by bringing together new technology, resources, and fields of expertise to stimulate critical innovation.  

The interdisciplinary approach of Copernicus GloFAS embodies the Earth System approach. GloFAS bases their dynamic models on interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, land and human activities. This process involves scientists from multiple fields. Their combined insights provide a more nuanced and adaptable approach than traditional modeling techniques. 

Traditional hydrological prediction methods struggle to account for increasingly frequent extreme conditions caused by population growth, climate change, and human intervention. If traditional modeling techniques hope to provide the same level of accuracy and scope, the research community must combine interdisciplinary expertise to involve the Earth system approach.

By Gabriele Mantovani     April 30, 2020, 11:21 a.m.