Delivering climate services that can effectively inform decision-making requires multi-disciplinary and cross-sector collaboration, and an agreed upon framework within which such collaboration can take place.
The following five steps have been identified as good practice to achieve this:
- understanding the demand side,
- bridging the gap between climate science and sector expertise,
- co-producing climate services to address end-user climate service needs,
- communicate to reach 'the last mile', and
- monitoring and evaluation.
Climate services are developed, delivered and used in many different ways, based on differing needs and capabilities. There is a huge wealth of data and information on key climate variables and indicators (including temperature, precipitation, wind, soil moisture, ocean conditions) available from national and international sources, as well as maps, risk and vulnerability analyses, assessments, and long-term projections and scenarios.
Socioeconomic variables and non-meteorological data (for example, agricultural production, health trends, water and air quality, human settlement in high-risk areas, road and infrastructure maps) may be integrated, depending on the needs of the decision-makers and the availability of such data.
Often the data and information are transformed into customized products for different user communities and use cases.
Climate services equip decision makers in climate-sensitive sectors with better information to help society understand and respond to/manage climate variability and change.