Climate change adaptation planning traditionally requires involving modelling specialists with the technical skills and tools to project and analyse risks and hazards from changing climatic conditions at the local level. This process adds budgetary and technical requirements that also slows the process of moving from planning to taking climate action.
AIT’s Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific has been working to bridge these technical and resource limitations in partnership with the Japanese Ministry of Environment (MoEJ) and Tsukuba University, which developed an innovative and easy-to-use dynamic downscaling system called S8 Downscaler (S8DS). The Downscaler links Tsukuba University’s supercomputer with RRC.AP’s local data server to allow users with little to no modelling training or skills to source spatial climate projections from their lap or desktop computers. The current version computes downscaling requests following the 4.5 and 8.5 Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) trajectories adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
AIT-RRC.AP has been convening training activities since 2016 engaging earlier versions of S8DS. In 2020 and 2021, Tsukuba University and Pacific Consultancy Co. Ltd modelling specialists and IT technicians have been working to improve S8DS’ system and its user interface for wider use leveraging AIT RRC.AP’s server. Interested users can access the S8DS from here.
In the meantime, AIT RRC.AP partnered with the Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI), a public funded organization based in Chiang Mai, Thailand to pilot the S8DS. HRDI is mandated to promote food security, poverty alleviation, and ecosystem health in mountainous regions of Thailand currently covering 1066 communities across 20 provinces. During the last quarter of 2020, AIT RRC.AP convened aa preliminary series of virtual training sessions with the developers of S8DS and a select group of research staff from HRDI, Doctoral students at AIT, and program staff of RRC.AP.
Following the ease of restrictions from the pandemic, AIT RRC.AP and HRDI convened a training workshop in Chiangmai, Thailand from 8-9 December 2021 to introduce the S8DS to a larger group of stakeholders involved in adaptation planning in Thailand. The training was facilitated in the local language by AIT RRC.AP staff and Dr Nawhath Thanvisitthpon, an Assistant Professor at the Rajamangala University of Technology, and Ms Arisara Nakburee, pursuing a doctorate in Climate Change at AIT. The training convened 29 staff of HRDI representing their research, development, and strategy and planning bureaus, three Faculty members of Chiang Mai University, and five officers of the Royal Project Foundation, a non-profit organization based in North Thailand founded by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as an umbrella organization for his charitable initiatives and research to improve the quality of life of hill tribes. The training was delivered in a series of eight sessions over two days which included theoretical sessions focusing on the science of climate change, regional and global climate change trends, climate models and overview of S8 tools and practical exercises with the S8DS interface.
Looking ahead, AIT RRC.AP is continuing its efforts to offer downscaling services in the region in the years ahead and is preparing to organize a regional workshop in 2022 for a wider selection of users in the region. Click here to learn more about the work of AIT RRC.AP in Climate Change.