The CCAFS Climate Analogues Tool
Using one or more global climate models,the analogues tool developed by CCAFS takes climate and rainfall predictions for a particular site and searches for places with similar conditions at present. Armed with the knowledge of what they may face in future, farmers, researchers and policy makers can determine their adaptation options based on real – as opposed to crystal ball-gazing – models. The tool can also track historical data to learn how communities have adapted – or have failed to adapt – to climate change over time. Importantly, it helps to capture the real world capacity of farmers to adapt, which is too often not taken into account in catastrophic climate models. Users of the tool – which is available online at analogues.ciat.cgiar.org/climate – can include variables such as crops, soils and socio-economic indicators in their searches.
Comparing present-day farming systems to their future analogues can facilitate the exchange of knowledge between farmers in different locations who share common climate interests and allows adaptation strategies and technologies to be tested and validated. CCAFS is disseminating the analogues tool widely and training regional, national and local partners to use it, in the hope of expanding its use beyond its project sites. So far, CCAFS has trained nearly 200 researchers from East and West Africa, Europe and Central America.