Appreciated training on regional climate change projections in South Asia
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Met Office and CORDEX South Asia organized the training workshop Regional climate change projections: Climate change analysis using CORDEX regional climate models over South Asia, online during 12-14 October 2020 and 19-21 October 2020.
The training was part of an institutional capacity building approach with the intention to strengthen the knowledge and capabilities on how to access and analyze future climate change projections. Through dedicated hands-on exercises, resource persons from ICIMOD, the Met Office – UK, and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) – Pune, guided participants in using different open source tools to analyse and visualize climate change projections at different time scales for user-specified locations. The event brought together participants from four focus countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. The 25 participants, including 8 women, were primarily from national hydro-meteorological agencies.
Preparations and arrangement
The training that originally was planned to be held in-person was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the practicalities of an online training.
Good preparations and great effort ensured that the training proceeded as smoothly as possible, for instance all the participants installed the required software before the training commenced. The virtual platform allowed participants to engage and interact with each other. The organizers maintained a daily log for all participants, which facilitated the communication between the organizers and the participants and enabled quick support when needed. Additionally, the organizers recorded the training and made them available on the workshop platform, enabling participants to view and review the sessions.
Through this training the participants improved their understanding of climate change science and projection and have learnt how to access and analyze CORDEX datasets using R software. They also practiced how to understand and interpret the characteristics of climate change data and analysis in a ‘hands-on’ fashion in combination with theoretical sessions. The participants found the sessions on how to use R to analyze and visualize CORDEX datasets particularly useful, and were also provided with customized R scripts for future use.
This was a very technical training and there were some challenges, mostly due to problems with internet connectivity in some countries. Despite that the general opinion was that the training was very valuable. For instance, one participant is planning to use CORDEX data for his PhD research on the impacts of climate change in the agricultural sector.
Future plans – more to come
This first training will be followed by a series of training activities during 2021 and 2022 to build the capacities of individuals at targeted institutions. The goal is to develop the individual skills and knowledge, and thus also the institutional capacity, to analyze climate projections and produce climate information for use in different sectoral applications. This initial online training has created a foundation and lead to useful insights for the future trainings. As a follow up to this training the organizers are planning to host a face to face training, using new analytical tools to analyze climate change projections over areas of interest and for specific applications when possible considering the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is to organize hands-on exercises in-person with the participants.
Read more about the event at the workshop website: