IRI Scientists Present At Climate Services Conference

In late February, seven staff members and scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society participated in the fifth International Conference on Climate Services. The conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa, focused on capacity development, including elements of formal and non-formal education, infrastructure and institutional capacity, as well as other components of climate services.

Many of the IRI presentations related to evaluating climate services and understanding what makes them successful and effective. Other IRI presentations centered on the application of climate information in health and agriculture systems, including incorporating user perspectives and demand for information. Climate science research and climate data availability, including the ENACTS approach and subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting, were also topics of IRI talks.

IRI hosted the first International Conference on Climate Services, which was held on Columbia University’s Morningside Campus in 2011. This conference launched the Climate Services Partnership, the secretariat of which was housed at the IRI until it was transferred to the German Climate Service Center in Hamburg in 2016.

In addition to researchers, the conference engaged information users and providers, as well as donors. “We’ve seen a real evolution of the community over the last five or six years,” said Cathy Vaughan, first program manager of the CSP. “This conference included a whole range of new voices, investigating a whole range of new topics; it really marks a blossoming of the community.”  Vaughan also remarked that there was a strong showing of social scientists at the conference, in comparison to more limited participation from social scientists in past ICCS events.

Far left: Andrew Kruczkiewicz presents on his research in climate services governance structures, exploring the roles and responsibilities of those involved in climate services. Photo: Ed Carr. Second left: Ángel Muñoz (GFDLIRI) gives a talk on research priorities for climate science at the subseasonal-to-seasonal timescale. Photo: Xandre Chourio. Second right: James Hansen, far left, and Madeleine Thomson second from left, discuss how ENACTS has influenced their work on use of climate information in the agriculture and health sectors. Photo: Tufa Dinku. Far right: Tufa Dinku presents on the Enhancing National Climate Services, or ENACTS, approach to improving climate data  availability, access and use in countries across Africa. Photo: James Hansen

Recent Climate Services News and Key Initiatives

From Climate Science to Climate Service – Three Considerations
New USAID initiative to evaluate the sustainability and effectiveness of climate services in Africa
Global Framework for Climate Services
Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER)
Future Climate For Africa