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The CARIWIG project

Managers and policy makers in the Caribbean require knowledge of the likely impacts and hazards arising from climate change that are specific to their geographical location and that are relevant to their planning time-horizons (e.g. the short term, 2030s, or the longer term, 2080s). However, current climate model projections of the weather are of limited use in this respect due to scale and bias issues. Sophisticated downscaling providing locally relevant unbiased climate change information remains sporadic. Clear guidance for managers and policy makers for the utilization of such information is also limited.

The CARIWIG project (2012-2015) has addressed these issues through the provision of locally relevant climatic information to support the evaluation of the weather impacts of climate change for a range of time horizons, training for stakeholder technical staff in the use of such information, the development of support networks within the region and development of partnerships with UK research institutes specializing in the  management of a range of hazards and impacts.

A web service was developed to provide summary climatic data, locally relevant weather projections (based on the best available observed data and climate model outputs for the region and following the EARWIG and UKCP09 downscaling approaches), scenarios of tropical cyclones and tools to support climatic analyses.

The scenarios, models and tools were initially used for impact case studies and training programs with key stakeholders in the region. This has provided examples of advice for regional managers and led to the development of policy briefs addressing specific local hazards and impacts of climate change. Exchange visits have also helped build regional capacity in climate compatible development, and helped develop and strengthen research and regional support networks. Research findings, best practice and the web service were further disseminated through workshops with key stakeholders and the provision of technical training for stakeholder staff.

The project was funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and work was carried out as a partnership between the Newcastle University (UK), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (Belize), University of East Anglia (UK), University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and the Institute of Meteorology (Cuba).