Empowering Climate Resilience: The I-CISK Project Unveiled

I-CISK, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program as part of the European Green Deal, is dedicated to delivering customized climate services (CS) that are trustworthy, understandable, replicable, and effective. Across seven distinct regions spanning Europe and Africa, the project confronts climate challenges head-on, recognizing the unique hurdles each region presents and advocating for tailored solutions. Here, we illuminate our people-centered approach, prioritizing co-design, co-creation, co-implementation, and co-evaluation across key sectors vulnerable to climate change. Our objective is clear: to engineer tailored solutions that resonate with citizens, stakeholders, and decision-makers alike.

As members of 52°North’s Spatial Data Science team, we delve into our methodology within one of our Living Labs situated in the region of Los Pedroches, northern Andalusia, Spain.

Our collaboration with stakeholders commenced with the meticulous gathering of user requirements from each Living Lab. This systematic approach facilitated problem framing, relevant variable identification, and an understanding of the capabilities required by CS users. A user story exemplifies this process: “As a livestock farmer, I’d like to have a visualization where I can see the historical time series (for specific stations) of temperature/precipitation data from the drought of the 1990s alongside the current downscaled temperature/precipitation forecast so that I can make informed decisions about my farming practices.”

Subsequently, our team utilized these user stories to craft mock-ups. Drawing insights from these narratives and considering the end user’s level of experience, we tailored visualizations to meet specific needs and enhance user experience. These initial mock-up studies were iteratively refined over time with stakeholder feedback.

In the subsequent chapters, we unveil the array of Climate Services under development:

Climate Service 1: Historical Climate Service

  1. Point Monthly Data Visualization: Our Historical Climate Service offers stakeholders access to historical data sourced from the AEMET weather stations network. This application facilitates the exploration of detailed monthly data from weather stations, encompassing metrics such as total monthly precipitation and monthly min/max/mean temperature. Users can compare historical and current data for two years, pinpoint locations within the region, and specify areas of interest from a list of predefined regions.

2. Raster Data Visualization: Employing a similar approach, this application showcases raster data derived from interpolated models generated from weather station point data. Users can interactively explore precipitation values across all months for selected years, facilitated by clickable map pixels revealing comparative bar charts.

Climate Service 2: Agroclimatic Indicators

This service grants access to a dataset of agroclimatic indicators crucial for characterizing plant-climate interactions on a global scale. The dataset, presented in an easily accessible format, aims to facilitate downstream analysis and the forcing of agricultural impact models.

  1. Precipitation Sum: This plot illustrates the sum of daily precipitation accumulated over ten-day intervals, providing insights into potential water shortages or surpluses. Users can manipulate sliders to select dates, toggle between map scales, and analyze total precipitation trends.

2. Maximum Number of Consecutive Summer Days (Hot Spell):

  1. The interface is equipped with sliders for selecting a year and a month within that year. An interactive map displays values for the chosen year and month, with detailed information available upon clicking on individual tiles. Additionally, a bar graph illustrates the minimum, mean, and maximum values for the selected year, allowing users to delve into seasonal variations across years and months through interactive visualizations.
  2. The “Select Summer Year” slider empowers users to designate a specific year. Users can activate the animate option, which sequentially navigates through the years. The accompanying ‘Summer Map’ showcases the summer months for the chosen year, providing a comprehensive overview of seasonal trends.
  3. The ‘Select Year Range’ button streamlines decade selection for the time series plot, categorizing months into seasons: DJF-Winter; MAM-Spring; JJA-Summer; SON-Autumn. The bar graph features top and bottom lines representing maximum and minimum values, respectively, with bars depicting averages. Enhanced interactivity allows users to hover over the graph for specific value insights and isolate seasons using the legend.

The I-CISK Spain Living Lab app furnishes farmers with indispensable insights into climate trends, facilitating informed decisions about adaptation strategies. With its arsenal of interactive visualizations and comprehensive data on precipitation and heat stress, this tool empowers users to mitigate risks, optimize agricultural practices, and adeptly manage the impacts of climate change.