Climate Science for Service Partnership China

What is the Climate Science for Service Partnership China?

Launched in 2014, the Climate Science for Service Partnership China (CSSP China) is a project stimulating scientific collaboration between research institutes in the UK and China. It focuses on producing world-leading scientific research that is fundamental to the development of climate services that support climate-resilient economic development and social welfare around the world. 

The project is working to enhance collaborative research by supporting the UK climate science community in their work with Chinese research institutes. The CSSP China project is part of our Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership (WCSSP) programme.

Who is involved in the project?

Through CSSP China, we are developing strong scientific partnerships between the Met Office, the China Meteorological Administration, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other key institutes in China and the UK. 

UK partners include: ARUP, Institute of Environmental Analytics,  Imperial College London, National Centre for Atmospheric Science Reading, Science & Technology Facilities Council, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia , University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter,  University of Leeds, University of Leicester, University of Oxford, University of Reading.

UK institutes can find out about research calls and how to get involved in the project on our fund management page.

Why is this research important?

Climate variability and change is a global challenge. A key focus of CSSP China is the development of climate services that provide individuals and organisations with the climate information they need to overcome the challenges of extreme weather and climate events. So far, these climate services have ranged from providing seasonal rainfall forecasts for the Yangtze River Basin to providing tools for urban planners to protect cities from the risks of weather events such as heatwaves or flooding.

The project is also developing new scientific capability to improve the seasonal forecasting of typhoons to support disaster risk reduction and working to address global challenges such as food security.

A farmer wearing a hat is bending down in a field of green crops.Understanding climate variability and change is vital for global food security. 

Current research areas 

Observing and attributing climate

To understand how our climate is changing we need a clear view of the past through climate observations. CSSP China is working to recover and digitise historical observations so we can understand how our climate is changing. These improved data sets help scientists conduct attribution studies to identify if climate change has altered the likelihood or intensity of extreme events, as well as provide an insight into similar events around the world in the future.

Climate dynamics and predictability 

Events such as El Niño and the East Asian Summer Monsoon are linked to extreme events such as flooding and drought that can have catastrophic consequences. CSSP China is improving our understanding of the dynamics of such events to improve the predictability of extreme weather and climate events in East Asia. 

Extreme events and climate change

Climate change is affecting the regional water cycle and increasing the risks of droughts and floods. These events can have devastating impacts on agriculture and water resources. Research in this area is looking at what causes these climate extremes to occur and how we can develop new climate services to predict extreme events in the future. 

Model development

Climate services depend on the ability to skilfully predict climate which is dependent on accurate computer modelling. CSSP China is improving the performance of climate models over China and the UK by working together to include crucial new processes and reduce sources of error. These climate models will be used to shape climate science and policy internationally for years to come.  

Climate services

A key part of the CSSP China project is the development of prototype climate services. CSSP China scientists are collaborating with users of climate services to develop tools that can provide them with the information they need. Climate services being developed include seasonal forecasts of rainfall for water resource management and energy production in the Yangtze River Basin, and information on the likely numbers of landfalling tropical cyclones in Eastern China for the upcoming typhoon season. 

CSSP China and VIEWpoint

To share the scientific outputs of CSSP China, the VIEWpoint project has created a range of communication materials including articles, videos and training materials. These communication resources are aimed at a range of audiences including government, industry and the public. You can find all resources on the VIEWpoint CSSP China website

Research publications

The project has published over 400 peer reviewed studies with many generated jointly by UK and Chinese scientists. In May 2021, a project overview paper was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The paper presents highlights from the first six years of the project and was led by project science leads at the Met Office in collaboration with the China Meteorological Administration and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics.

Find out more: Scaife et al., 2021, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Additionally, two special issues of the project have been published so far:

You can find a full list of CSSP China research publications on the VIEWpoint CSSP China website

Recent research grants

  • Vegetation and crop stress monitoring, University of Leicester
  • Evaluating extreme rainfall in Eastern China, University of Edinburgh
  • Aerosol effects on Chinese regional climate dynamics, University of Leeds
  • Dynamics of East Asian monsoon variability and climate change, University of Exeter
  • Indian and Pacific Ocean decadal variability, University of Oxford
  • The impact of climate change on water resources, University of East Anglia
  • Predicting future climate extremes in China, University of Birmingham
  • Air-sea interactions, teleconnections and model errors in the East Asian monsoon, National Centre for Atmospheric Science
  • Aerosol-cloud-land interactions over East Asia, National Centre for Atmospheric Science
  • Development of an improved urban-environment scheme, University of Reading
  • The dynamics of tropical cyclones during and after land fall, Imperial College London
  • Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, Science & Technology Facilities Council
  • VIEWpoint: sharing outputs and tools from CSSP China, Institute for Environmental Analytics
  • Multi-model approaches in climate services, University of Edinburgh
  • Climate Services for Water Resources, University of Leeds
  • Convective-scale climate variability and change, National Centre for Atmospheric Science
  • Land-atmosphere interactions and processes, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Climate risk assessment tool for Chinese cities, ARUP