Climate data sought by hundreds of agricultural development agencies around the world

Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the limited availability of climate data and networks for sharing data constrains agricultural research and development. Researchers often have difficulty in gathering and verifying weather data. A dearth of information on the uncertainties in climate modelling, the sensitivities of crop models to errors in weather data, and a lack of methods to detect flaws in climate models also hampers them in using climate and crop models in their research.

Aware of these barriers to research and development, CCAFS researchers reviewed climate data and crop models in order to find a way to couple agriculture predictions and climate predictions. The result is CCAFS-Climate, a data portal that aims to become ‘the’ place to get free and open-access downscaled climate data useful for understanding the effects of climate change on agriculture.

Three years on, CCAFS-Climate, thanks to ongoing improvement, puts quality information on long-term climate change into the hands of not only climate researchers but also development agencies – which make up around one-fifth of the website users.

An estimated 400 users from development agencies in 60 countries have downloaded CCAFS-Climate data

In 2013, CCAFS uploaded over 65 000 files to the site. People in nearly 700 institutions in 163 countries made over 14 500 unique visits to the CCAFS-Climate portal. Over 5000 users downloaded around 135 000 files amounting to 125 terabytes of data. Estimates indicate that 400 users in development agencies in 60 countries – out of about 2000 unique users – downloaded CCAFS-Climate data.

The CCAFS-Climate portal gives multidisciplinary users beyond its immediate sphere of influence access to data to support analyses of the impact of climate change and to identify ways to adapt.


Over 5,000 users of the CCAFS-Climate portal, including key development partners, downloaded 135,000 files of climate data generated by CCAFS in 2013.