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CSSP China: Celebrating a decade of scientific collaboration

A project aimed at enabling the development of cutting-edge climate science and its pull through into decision making and on-the-ground services is marking its 10th anniversary.

Launched in 2014, the Climate Science for Service Partnership (CSSP) China is a vibrant collaborative climate science and services initiative between research institutes in the UK, including the Met Office and China.

The project has delivered world-leading climate science research for services to support climate resilient economic development and social welfare around the world. The impact and reach of this research is wide and contributes to ongoing scientific projects globally and in the UK. CSSP China has also attracted interest beyond academia, with media coverage highlighting the significance of the work more than 900 times, and policymakers worldwide citing scientific reports created from the project in more than 100 policy documents.

It has stimulated strong scientific partnerships, harnessing the expertise of the Met Office, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other key institutes in China and the UK. The project has recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary at its Annual Science Workshop held at the Met Office in Exeter, with delegations attending from all partners as well as wider stakeholders.

The workshop provided an opportunity to evaluate the scientific advances made by the project and to identify prospects for further innovation. Discussions identified research opportunities and cross-project activities that will strengthen Met Office-China collaborations in climate science and services, on topics such as extreme weather events, food security and plant health, and major El Niños and their impacts, which will help deliver increased climate resilience around the world. A special anniversary cake was also prepared to mark the occasion and celebrate the project successes and future opportunities.

Sean Milton, CSSP China UK Project Executive from the Met Office, recently commented:

“It was wonderful to reconnect face-to-face again following 3 years of virtual workshops to hear about research opportunities and facilitate sharing of knowledge and expertise. I was particularly impressed by early career researchers who gave presentations. We are very excited by what CSSP China could achieve in the coming years and very much looking forward to its continued success.”

Qingchen Chao, Deputy Director-General for the National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration recently commented in a new video for the project: “The CSSP China programme has lasted 10 years and is recognised as the most fruitful China-UK meteorological cooperation project for the longest duration and the largest participation. I have witnessed that the project outputs have supported national policy making and benefitted social and economic development. I believe the new decade will witness strengthening partnerships of climate communities between the UK and China, upon the solid foundation laid by the CSSP China programme.”

CSSP China conducts climate science research spanning observational studies, predictions of weather and climate extremes and the development of climate models and climate services for decision making. It has created a firm legacy in these areas and facilitated the pull through of science into services that are supporting decision making globally. An important legacy of the partnership is the exceptional body of peer reviewed science it has produced, with over 500 studies published in the scientific peer reviewed literature which have attracted more than 10k citations by other global academics.

To help further showcase these within the research community, CSSP China has published a special issue in the scientific Journal Advances in Atmospheric Science (AAS), highlighting the internationally collaborative research from the project with 13 papers on key research topics. The issue showcases the breadth of CSSP China, with research papers ranging from studying the predictability of the Asian summer monsoon to observational work on the records of extreme humidity. The issue documents how the project is further developing seasonal climate services by extending the lead time for predictions of Yangtze river basin summer rainfall to over six months in response to user needs.

Adam Scaife, who was the UK science lead on the project until earlier this year, recently said:

“This latest set of science papers adds new climate science highlights to the already enormous contribution made by our collaboration, and this becomes all the more important as we experience unprecedented levels of global change.”

Looking ahead, the project teams are fully committed to developing innovations and world-leading science that will help meet the challenges of the next 10 years – ‘the critical decade’ for tackling climate change and building resilience to the impacts of weather and climate extremes. The CSSP China project is part of our Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership (WCSSP) programme, supported by the UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT). Explore more research insights and impacts via the WCSSP Impact Brochure and CSSP China video showcasing specific successes to date.


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