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Work Package 5: Climate Services

This work package is pulling through science, developed across CSSP China, to services by developing prototypes for priority areas (including energy, food security, urban environments) which are aligned with the UN’s Global Framework for Climate Services.

The work package is developing relationships with providers and users of climate services, understanding requirements for climate information in both China and the UK, and providing feedback to influence underpinning research.


Climate services provide climate information in a way that assists decision-making by individuals and organisations. These services are essential for society to better manage the risk and opportunities arising from climate variability and change. WP5 aims to bridge the gap between information developed by scientists and the practical needs of decision-makers in government, industry and society, resulting in useful climate knowledge and applications. 

Current activities include:

  • Grant award: University of Reading and University of Leeds. Scoping study to understand potential for climate services development in a range of urban environments in China.
  • Grant award: University of Edinburgh. Scoping study identifying end user needs for air quality climate services. A national workshop is to be held in Beijing, engaging with key decision makers, policy makers and other stakeholders.
  • Grant award: University of Exeter. Research project considering air quality impacts on agriculture and ecosystems, and the potential to support decision making in the agriculture sector.
  • Tool development by the Met Office and Shanghai Met Service to undertake risk assessments for food security in China.
  • Grant award: Reading University. Model development by the Met Office and Reading University to provide high resolution simulations of cities in China and the UK, to support better understanding of urban climate, and aid resilient adaptation.
  • Prototype climate service development and evaluation by the Met Office and Wuhan Regional Climate Centre to deliver seasonal forecasts of rainfall for the Yangtze River Basin, to support decision making in major hydropower and flood protection facilities.
  • Grant award: University of Leeds. Translational science project developing the treatment of uncertainty across the chain of climate information provision. This project is developing knowledge and capacity to better communicate climate uncertainty to Chinese decision makers.


Through the translation of science and bespoke provision of climate information, building of relationships between providers and users of climate services, and development of tools and methodologies for climate service development and delivery, this work package is supporting better use of climate information in decision-making for priority economic sectors in China. Prototypes developed in collaboration will demonstrate the potential benefits of climate services in managing climate change and variability, improving food, water and energy security outcomes through planning and risk management. Efforts to develop translational science and to improve engagement of users in the development of climate services should contribute to an increased uptake in climate services, while developing actionable climate information and services (that meet user needs) that contribute to climate-resilient economic development and social-welfare in a range of sectors.

Scientific highlights

Seasonal forecast for the Yangtze River Basin. A prototype climate service has been trialled producing a real-time seasonal forecast for the Yangtze river basin throughout the spring and summer of 2016 and 2017. Working closely with decision-makers has made it possible to demonstrate the value of this forecast and develop it further to better meet needs.

Understanding risk of yield shocks. A new technique for assessing current climate risk to extreme events UNSEEN (UNprecendented Simulation of Extremes with Ensembles) (see WP2) has been used to understand and communicate current and future risk to food security; for example examining the likelihood of maize yield shocks due to unprecedented severe water stress in the future

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