User-Based Solutions Toward an Integrated and Resilient Future

Julia Kraatz (52°North)

How the I-CISK project bridges the gaps between People, Climate, and Disaster Risk

Please take a moment to picture these two scenarios.

Scenario 1

You are part of the civil protection authority and a pluvial flood (a flooding event independent of large water bodies, such as rivers or lakes) has just occurred in a major city under your jurisdiction. Where should you and your team focus your efforts? In what neighbourhoods are people at the greatest risk? Who can your agency contact, in case you and your team cannot reach all communities? And where, in the aftermath of the flooding event, should infrastructure or warning systems be developed to mitigate impacts in the future?

Scenario 2

You are a farmer and each year for the past five years, rainfall and drought patterns have been highly unpredictable. You never know how much water to use for your crops anymore and, as a result, your crops are producing smaller yields. What do you do?  How should you adapt your planting strategies, so that your crops do not suffer from drought? Where can you find reliable information to make informed decisions on this matter? As can be inferred from both scenarios, each person is facing challenges due to the current climate crisis; as weather patterns and disaster events increase in occurrence and variability each year, there is also an increasing amount of people and communities that face unprecedented climate challenges. Thus, there is a need for centralized climate information, so that both citizens and authorities alike can make climate-informed decisions. This is why both the I-CISK project aims to create federated, open-source, scalable, user-friendly, and reproducible Climate Services (CS). In I-CISK, the CS platform will serve to empower citizens to take climate decisions into their own hands

I-CISK current developments 

Link to Abstract 

The I-CISK project is guided by seven Work Packages and seven Living Labs (LL).

Map of the I-CISK Living Labs (LL)

In the I-CISK project, preliminary climate services have been developed. For example, the LL located in Andalusia, Spain, works with Olive Farmers, Dairy Farmers, and policymakers in the water authority sector. These stakeholders required weekly and long-term forecasts related to drought, as well as temperature and precipitation data. These requirements were then developed to dynamically display them, as shown below.

Historical Temperature Comparison Maps Developed for the I-CISK Project’s Andalusia, Spain, LL

Thus, co-production between the LLs and the WPs contributes to tailoring the CSs, so that they can effectively display data pertaining to end-user needs. These requirements then in turn hope to aid the broader EU community, by providing an innovative framework for CSs and co-production.

Concluding Remarks

I presented this and the DIRECTED projects from April 14-19, 2024, at the EGU Conference in Vienna, Austria. My experience was inspiring and thought-provoking. I interacted and listened to a multitude of climate scientists, industry leaders, and students within the Geosciences field. The biggest takeaway, however, was how important both the frameworks and CS platforms being developed in both I-CISK and DIRECTED are.

Having user input as the main guiding principle for development seemed to be a novel, and holistic, concept among the projects presented at the conference; from what I observed, and the questions I received, the I-CISK project is innovative in how it addresses climate services and disaster events. Thus, as I continue to contribute my efforts, I am even more excited about what will come in this meaningful work. I hope that I was able to share about these projects adequately at the sessions I presented in and that they can contribute to a more connected, informed, and resilient future.