The Process and Benefits of Developing Prototype Climate Services—Examples in China


  • Changes in climate pose major challenges to society, and so decision-makers need actionable climate information to inform their planning and policies to make society more resilient to climatic changes. Climate services are being developed to provide such actionable climate information. The successful development and use of climate services benefits greatly from close engagement between developers, providers, and users of the services. The Climate Science for Service Partnership China (CSSP China) is a China–UK collaboration fostering closer engagement between climate scientists, providers of climate services, and users of climate services. We describe the process within CSSP China of co-developing climate services through trials with users to revise and improve a prototype. Examples are provided covering various scientific capabilities, user needs, and parts of China. The development process is yielding many benefits, such as increasing the engagement between providers and users, making users more aware of how climate information can be of use in their decision-making, giving the climate service providers a better understanding of the users’ requirements for climate information, and shaping future scientific research and development. In addition to the benefits, we also document some challenges that have emerged, along with ways of alleviating them. We have two key recommendations from our experiences: make the time and space for effective engagement between the users and developers of any climate service; bring the needs of the users in to the design and delivery of the climate service as early as possible and throughout the development cycle.
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